Tag Archives: booker prize

What is literary fiction?

Literary fiction is often linguistically difficult, or unusual, in the way that poetry is. It often contains unfamiliar words or supports political, ideological, religious positions that are not widely accepted.  It subverts sentimentality. It makes people think.

Non-fans of literary fiction tend to complain that it sends them to the dictionary (or tries to).  They claim literary fiction is guilty of affectation, a term which seems to have changed its meaning of late:

Main Entry: af·fec·ta·tion

Pronunciation: ˌa-ˌfek-ˈtā-shən
Function: noun

1 :displaying extensive knowledge acquired chiefly from books : demonstrating profound, recondite, or bookish learning

2 :speech or behavior relating to, or characteristic of poets or poetry Continue reading

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The Sea by John Banville

Don’t read this review of The Sea if you don’t want to ruin the surprise ending because I’m going to give part of it away. If you’re at all like me, you may find it preferable to know, to know more than what the jacket cover reveals, that there was a death in the narrator’s childhood that he revisits in memory as an old man. At the end of the book the narrator relates the sudden double death of twin children. And he reveals the true identity of Miss V, their former Continue reading