FROM LOWBROW TO NOBROW PDF

Swirski believes that the former were privileged by critics because of their very inaccessibility to the masses; the latter were barred from canonical inclusion because of their genre-driven stories-science fiction, detective fiction, fantasy. Swirski begins with statistics and interesting facts on the history of publishing. In passing, he takes fly-sized swipes at the goliaths Theodor Adorno and Maurice Blanchot. More rewarding chapters deal with the neglected genre writers mentioned above. The problem arises when he tries to place the works in the context of the classics and the admittedly demanding aesthetics that treat them. In the end he seems to be claiming, somewhat truculently, that he loves these books, and people love these books, and no one should say that the authors are not worthy of the Nobel Prize.

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Swirski believes that the former were privileged by critics because of their very inaccessibility to the masses; the latter were barred from canonical inclusion because of their genre-driven stories-science fiction, detective fiction, fantasy.

Swirski begins with statistics and interesting facts on the history of publishing. In passing, he takes fly-sized swipes at the goliaths Theodor Adorno and Maurice Blanchot. More rewarding chapters deal with the neglected genre writers mentioned above. The problem arises when he tries to place the works in the context of the classics and the admittedly demanding aesthetics that treat them.

In the end he seems to be claiming, somewhat truculently, that he loves these books, and people love these books, and no one should say that the authors are not worthy of the Nobel Prize. A brief comparison of the two works shows why Bellow might deserve the Nobel Prize he received it in and not Lem. The latter ably follows the genre approach, which relies on stock-in-trade characters.

They are vehicles for plots and ideas, from which the reader gets an adrenaline rush and a late night wow! Why else write? Bellow tries to make this singularity pervade every sentence, while Lem writes in the staccato style typical of hardboiled fiction-stringing together pithy observations without the support of a rich, subjective presence. For readers who equate literature with the exploration of individualized worlds, there is something punishing about thriller prose. Swirski writes intelligently, quotes copiously, and approaches his themes passionately.

And yet there must be a mote in his eye if he has to rally T. Eliot to his support for genre fiction. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Leave a Reply Cancel reply.

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From Lowbrow to Nobrow

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From Lowbrow to Nobrow is a book on literary culture written by Peter Swirski , professor of American literature and culture at the University of Missouri, St. Swirski is the author of twelve books of American literature and culture, Stanislaw Lem , and theory of knowledge. Having gone through several printings, the book is by now a staple in American popular culture studies. It furnishes a series of analyses of the relation of popular fiction to high literary culture.

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