Friday, September 08, 2006

The differences between book people and movie people

After engaging in several online debates on how literary worthiness should be defined, and often times taking a rather snooty attitude about the whole affair, I was brought back to reality by this post from 2blowhards.com on the differences of book people v. movie people.

The article reminds me of the time when I asked an employee (some english lit major from NYU) at the Strand whether they had any Mervyn Peake. After some scrutiny of his computer, he told me that it seemed that Peake wrote mostly science fiction which he indicated was in the backcorner of the bookstore. What got me was that the student said science fiction like it left a bad taste in his mouth, and gave me a look of such pity and confusion, that I felt like I had committed some egregious faux pas by asking for it.

I have always tried to defend sci-fi in an effort to convince friends, strangers online that it has just as much merit as literary fiction. And while I don't feel any differently on the matter, I can now see that it really shouldn't irk me as much as it does. I shouldn't have to feel defensive about what I read, or holier-than-thou when I am reading 'literary fiction' rather than chick-lit (which I'm very guilty of). If you get enjoyment or satisfaction from it, then you haven't wasted your time. You should be able to make your own pronouncements. Now go read the post.

1 comment:

funshine said...

hey, cindy!!

great post, and thanks for the link. It's funny you mention the guy in the bookstore was an english major. I know this is a gross generalization, but I think a lot of book snobs are english majors who won't read anything other than Faulkner or Virginia Woolf...and as for book people vs. movie people, well, I'm glad I'm a book person. I think books allow you to introspectively reflect on whatever topic they're presenting at your own pace, and there is something to be said for seeing language in print. I think that's part of the appeal of subtitled, non-American films. Btw, if you ever get the chance, you should watch Todo Sobre Mi Madre (All About My Mother), if you havent already done so. Spanish movies make all those years of spanish we took worth it!!