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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Gebrauchsschreiben

The German composer Paul Hindemith promoted a concept called Gebrauchsmusik (Useful music) in the 1930s. This was the tenet that music should be an activity for everyone to enjoy listening to; it was a reaction against the tendency of music to be highly learned, mathematical, and elitist.

I'm beginning to feel this way about fiction. Over and over I find publishing markets that take only "literary fiction," and will refuse even to read "genre fiction." If it's fun, it's apparently not art.

I made the choice to stop working on my PhD dissertation partly because I wanted to write things that lots of people would enjoy reading. To stay true to that philosophy, I feel I must fight the elitist condescension I often find aimed at genre fiction.

All hail fun reading!

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