Friday, November 19, 2010

Literary Blog Hop

And for the other blog hop I like to participate in, the literary blog hop hosted by The Blue Bookcase, this week's questions are:

Is there such a thing as literary non-fiction? If so, how do you define it? Examples?

My answer is: Yes, of course. But my definition is not quite so definitive. "Literary" is such a squishy definition for me. I agree it has to have aesthetic merit, but there is a certain degree of subjectivity that goes into making that judgment. So my definition would be: in literary nonfiction the writing should be as important as if not more important than the content to the author's intention and to the reader's enjoyment of the work.

As for examples, I don't read very much nonfiction that isn't work related, and that is very content driven. It's not meant to be pretty.

If I had to come up with a book that stuck in my mind as a rather lyrical piece of nonfiction, it would be Zoe Oldenbourg's Massacre at Montsegur: A History of the Albigensian Crusade. Even though I could tell where her bias was, it was so compellingly told, I felt emotionally convinced by the way she portrayed the story.
Literary Blog Hop