Why Fun Matters

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I think if you were going to boil down everything I've been trying to say about literature since starting this site, you'd end up with this:

If you look at the bestselling novels at any given time, one thing almost all of them have in common is that they could be described as fun. Obviously, fun is something we value in our literature. And yet in the common way we think about literature, especially in universities and "highbrow" book reviews, fun is pretty low on the list of things we say makes a book good. Which seems like an obvious disconnect between what we actually think is important in literature and what we say we think is important in literature. Granted that 'fun' can be nebulous and subjective, but so can most values we look for in literature.

So among whatever other criteria I use, for a book to be 'good' to me, it should be fun.

Comments

If I may both compliment and

If I may both compliment and troll you: speaking as a dedicated reader of your essays, this is a completely inadequate summary of your most important ideas.

You're very kind. And your

You're very kind.

And your right, it doesn't really approach a lot of what I say about genre and tropes and exploitation and so on, but it occurred to me that I'd never said the above in the simplest possible terms and I thought I should.

There's a dedicated reader of

There's a dedicated reader of Eric's essays?

Wise guy.

Wise guy.

I'm just saying if your wife

I'm just saying if your wife wants to comment on your posts she ought to sign is all.

Gotta be a hater.

Gotta be a hater.

I like you too, Quackenbush!

I like you too, Quackenbush! I always appreciate a fresh renewal of my gratitude to myself for never going to law school.