Le Guin tells it like it is

July 17th, 2007

By all means check this out:

“On Serious Literature”


Much laughter,

16 Responses to “Le Guin tells it like it is”

  1. Maryon 17 Jul 2007 at 7:23 pm

    aargh! The horror, the horror!

  2. Madeleine Robinson 17 Jul 2007 at 7:45 pm

    This has been roaming the internet for a week or so, but Jon Carroll put it in his column this morning with the notation: “Now there’s writing, folks.”


  3. Kate Elliotton 17 Jul 2007 at 11:10 pm

    It’s even better read aloud.

  4. UKL = CanOWhoop « Skid Rocheon 18 Jul 2007 at 5:16 am

    […] Reminder from Katharine Kerr. […]

  5. Kevin Andrew Murphyon 18 Jul 2007 at 10:41 am


  6. Madeleine Robinson 18 Jul 2007 at 9:00 pm

    When I read this to the household 17-year-old she asked, “What’s Granta?” When I explained she shook her head. “Why would you want to publish there.” Ah, yout’.

  7. Laurieon 19 Jul 2007 at 1:34 pm

    Oh no, he committed genre? How… vulgar.

    *shudders delicately*

  8. Katharine Kerron 19 Jul 2007 at 3:51 pm

    It was the Jon Carrol column that made me aware of the Le Guin piece’s existence. I figured others who don’t get the Chronicle might miss it, too.

  9. Beth Bon 19 Jul 2007 at 4:22 pm

    It was also in the latest Ansible, but yes, folks might miss it there, too, so spread the word!

    (And I like Granta, but that line had me spitting coffee all over the keyboard.)

  10. Maryon 19 Jul 2007 at 6:22 pm

    I’ve been — spreading it around.

  11. Erin Underwoodon 20 Jul 2007 at 10:05 am

    Last week during my residency at Stonecoast, I got to read outloud Ursula Le Guin’s response. It was fantastic~!

    There was much laughter!

  12. Ken Houghtonon 22 Jul 2007 at 8:41 pm

    Placing Granta, which has published Christopher Priest and Lawrence Norfolk (among others) in its Best British Novelist issues as the peak of the evil empire is revelatory, all right–but it speaks rather poorer of LeGuin than it does the magazine.

    (I realise this is the minority opinion in the genre, and that I will be duly and appropriately pilloried for it. I can live with that. Apparently Saint Ursula, who regularly appears in The New Yorker, Playboy, and other high-paying markets has decided to make a late career move into being bitter.

  13. Kate Elliotton 23 Jul 2007 at 12:52 am

    Ken, I didn’t read it as bitter. I read it as having fun.

  14. Katharine Kerron 23 Jul 2007 at 4:12 pm

    Yes, hardly bitter, I’d say, especially since she puts a disclaimer at the bottom.

  15. Erin Underwoodon 25 Jul 2007 at 2:51 pm

    In this month’s edition of “The Atlantic,” there is a terrific article on MFA programs. It covers all of the general MFA information you’d expect to see and it mentions the emergence of MFAs in popular fiction.

    The mention is less then a few lines in a several page feature, but it’s there! I think this is a very positive indication that genre fiction is beginning to get the attention that it so richly deserves in the field of “serious literature.”

    The two universities mentioned as opening the door for YA and popular fiction (in the realm of graduate studies) are Stonecoast’s low-residency MFA program and Seton Hill’s low-residency MA program. As a current student at Stonecoast, I am overwhelmed by the high quality of the program, the excellent instructors, and the talent of my fellow students.

    I look forward to seeing how popular/genre fiction continues to prosper in the field of “serious literature”. I think Ursula was right, they didn’t bury the corpse nearly deep enough!

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