Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Back From Saints and Sinners

I had an amazing time, as usual, but always a different amazing time. D.L. King was a blast as a roommate. I loved seeing everyone. Met some new people I liked a lot. Schmoozed like crazy.


There's always a but, and this year it's a big one. I haven't been to the erotica panel in a couple years since it's always the same three people. But this year I figured what the hell then left thinking What The Hell?????

Did every person on that panel actually admit that they don't read erotica? Did one person go on to say they preferred to read "good writing" when they have time to read? Great. Erotica writers calling erotica worthless crap. I-- Fuck it. Never again.

This AM: I can't let this go.

In another panel, one of the "name" people at the conference was talking about his short story collection and how he wanted people to feel it was erotic, but not erotica, because he wanted it to be considered literature. He also left out his science fiction short stories for the same reason. I am so sick of this snobbery.

Thank god for Peter Dube' on the literature versus genre fiction panel. He was the one person who said genre and literary are arbitrary divisions that have no value. Good writing is good writing.


D. L. King said...

I had a blast, too. Thanks for sharing your room with me.

I have to say, the erotica panel put me into a slightly pissy mood, too; nothing a bloody mary couldn't fix, though. I was glad I attended that panel because I got to see what passes for an erotica panel at S&S, but mostly because I really enjoyed hearing Jeff Mann's comments.

I usually ignore the slights directed to my chosen genre/art form, but I do get tired of it when that sort of attitude is thrust in my face, again and again, during such a short period of time.

I would like to add, however, that I am so glad I had the opportunity to attend the festival. I learned a lot and had great conversations. I caught up with old friends, met others for the first time in the flesh and made a lot of new friends. The parties were spectacular. Is that a good word? The vodka was free--that adds up to spectacular in my book!I don't think it can be missed in the future.

Unknown said...

I agree Kathleen. Genre delineations--imho, serve more as a marketing function (and possibly, a sorting tool for fans who don't want to pick endlessly through titles looking for their favorite "type" of read). The continuing elitism and snobbery is old and, quite frankly, starting to grate on my nerves. Quality is quality, regardless of the package in which the end product arrives.

Kathleen Bradean said...

Catie - I agree that genres are useful for readers, and I have no problem with them. What I object to is the idea that one genre - and literary fiction is a genre - has more value, artistic merit, quality, etc. than other genres. But what really makes my eye twitch is when genre writers show no respect for the other writers in their genre.
Was it Theodore Sturgeon who said 90% of everything is crap? Well, then that applies to literary fiction too. And what about the 10% that isn't crap?

melspenser said...

Now I'm going to have to go back and look at my program.

It's probably a good thing that I wasn't in that panel. I probably would have said something; embarassing those sitting next to me.

I think WE should be the panel next year!

It was great seeing you guys and hanging out!