Mr Mitchelmore ponders the use of the word literary and wonders what is happening:

Last month, there was a puzzling story summary in The Guardian: "Lisa Jewell wins top prize at awards set up to rebrand chick lit and bolster its literary credentials". How, I wonder, can a prize bolster a genre's literary credentials? No doubt the word is meant as a loose definition of serious fiction, and a prize surely affords that; yes, even the Melissa Nathan Award for comedy romance. "Serious" is also loosely-defined: serious subject matter, serious attention, serious sales. But shouldn't "literary" mean more than that? Or rather, don't those who use this troublesome word imply that it means more? Perhaps not. Yet, when ever I read such articles, I smell anguish; a hunger for elusive gravity (more...)

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