The Reaction

I made a post on this over on SL, and thought I’d blog about it as well, for those who don’t frequent Matt’s House of Favoritism. I was telling a coworker today about my poem Forgotten Son, being included in the Death In Common poetry anthology. Their reaction: “Horror? That’s not real writing.”

They walked away before I could reply, but even now, I’m still not sure how to react. I know better. I also know different genres elicit different reactions. But to think something isn’t “real” because of the genre, is a rather harsh statement. What is real? To some it may be Romance, Crime noir for others. Horror for me can encompass all other genres in one form or another, and still stand on it’s own.

Somehow the fact, I choose to write horror (not esclusively, but it’s the most prominent of my current projects), makes my labor meaningless to someone. 

I love horror, always have. before my 20 year absence of writing I had a friend tell me that I’d outgrow it, as if it were a stage of life or something. To me, horror is what I do best. I don’t ignore non horror ideas as they come along (in fact I have a sci fi that came up the other night I’m working on), but it’s what I gravitate towards. 

I’m a storyteller, and while people are under no obligation to read anything I publish, nor are they welcome to denigrate a genre simply because they don’t like it, or think it’s “real” writing.

4 thoughts on “The Reaction

  1. A fruitless gesture, CG. Anyone stupid enough to say such a thing is too stupid to recognize real writing even when it’s bounced off of their noggin. If you must try, though, I’m not sure Frankenstein is the appropriate tome. It’s all Shelley is really known for these days, and it’s too much a part of the pop culture perception of less than literate horror, because of the hundreds of movies and comic books and such. Try something by an author recognized for other literature. Kipling, Dickens and London all wrote supernatural tales, and Coleridge’s ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ is a masterpiece of English poetry, despite being pretty horrific. And what about ol’ Bill Shakespeare, his own self? How many ghosts occupy a collection of his works? You want real horror – check out Titus Andronicus. And that’s just in English. De Maupassant, Hugo, Goethe, Mann, Hoffman, Gorky, etc., etc., etc. The list of great world writers who’ve dabbled in horror and the supernatural is damn near as long as the list of great world writers.

  2. All forms of ‘genre’ fiction have been relegated to a ghetto by the larger reading audience, academe and other groups. A few years back Stephen King received a (name escapes me) literary award that had never before been given to a genre author. He made an incredible speech about how ‘genre’ was the literature of 20th century and would be recognized as such in due time.

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