A Literary Blog Hop post courtesy of The Blue Bookcase
|The Blue Bookcase hosts a weekly "Literary Blog Hop," asking bloggers to answer a question of a literary nature on their literary blogs. Today's question is a no brainer: "Is there such a thing as literary non fiction.|
Let's consider some examples. This week the first volume of the Autobiography of Mark Twain was published by the University of California. One might question how much of any autobiography is really non fiction but this is surely a work of literary value. My copy is on order. Look for a review on this blog soon.
I recently reviewed Paul Theroux's Ghost Train to the Eastern Star. I wouldn't claim that my review is timeless prose, but I have high hopes for Theroux. He may make it as a writer some day. I'm not just saying this because his parents lived down the street from me when I was a lad.
Now let's take a look at John McPhee. After discovering The Deltoid Pumpkin Seed back in the dark ages of my youth, my next McPhee book was Oranges. Here is a man who captures the readers imagination, not just writing about a commercially failed amazing feat of engineering, but writing about agriculture, geology, long haul trucking and migratory fish. McPhee is a literary craftsman of the highest order.
What makes a book "literary" anyhow? I know it when I see it, yet can't define it. I don't think there is a genre that could not contain some work worthy of the name. Fantasy novels might not be considered literary, but what about The Lord of the Rings? Illustrated children's books? The Tomten by Astrid Lindgren or The Night Before Christmas. Graphic novels? Now there you've got me.
Perhaps you could suggest a graphic novel that you consider to be "literary." Leave a comment if you have a suggestion.