Promoting my writing is the primary function of this blog, but writing about writing and the writing of other Writers are also intentions. For example, the ever prickly matter of literary criticism. When several people I know learned that I had turned my attention to writing mysteries there was a collective groan because genre writing is considered slumming or rubbing elbows with the great unwashed masses by the more informed, learned, and self-declared intelligentsia of literature. Despite this unabashed prejudice I was pleased when each of these persons read the Jhon Collector Mysteries SCENE OF A CRIME/FOR UNTO US and told me that they were pleased by them because – as one expert put it – “they elevate genre writing to the level of literature”.
Nice to know I am contributing to the advancement of the human race through such lofty efforts.
Seriously, for years I have doubted the legitimacy of much literary criticism, due to the superficiality and pretense that contaminate, corrupt, and pollute it, as inflicted by sweater vest-wearing, mouth-breathing intellectual sparrowfarts whose intelligence individually and collectively pale in comparison to a flimsy cardboard box of no-name cereal because they are vacuums where common sense and reason are concerned. If B.S. were deemed an Art form they would be masters of it, every one, as they extoll, posture, pontificate, and go on at great length about presumed symbolism, subtext, and other chattel assumed present in the writing, imposed and imparted through subjective opinion.
Which brings me to the latest examples of what passes for literary criticism these days: Do these opinions have value? Do they merit consideration beyond the obvious – an attempt to make a name for a literary critic by sharpening their long knives on the neck of Stephen King?