Advantages Of Popular Fiction

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Popular Fiction Studies: The Advantage of a New Field

Stephen Knight’s Form and Ideology in Crime Fiction, begins with the claim that not very much has been written about crime fiction. This was true in relative terms; even if a great deal had, really, been written about crime fiction, the most celebrated and conservatively literary of popular forms, it was only a stream compared to the flood of work that flourished in the nineteen eighties. Crime fiction and other established genres of popular novels—such as romance, thriller, science fiction, horror novel and Western—have each drawn extensive attention from a variety of disciplinary and methodological perspectives, but they have more often than not been considered and analyzed as unequal categories. ‘Popular fiction’ as a general object of study has hardly ever been explored, in part because it is often included under the sunshade of popular culture. This is a mistake; just as film and television have developed their own app roaches that reflect the unique social, cultural, political, and industrial dimensions of each medium, so popular fiction should inhabit its own critical space. ‘Popular fiction’ has been defined in a number of ways -in Western, English-language criticism- over the last half-century. Although the specific terminology has often echoed the writer’s approach to the topic, Matthew Schneider-Mayerson Studies in Popular Culture the subject’s actual domain is rarely questioned. Popular
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