Give me a break
So a lot of the authors I enjoy most straddle the lines between what some might consider genre and what some might consider literary. Those who still need sharp dividing lines to organize their thoughts would probably put most of it within fantasy (while those who still only enjoy the types of fantasy I read when I was 12 probably wouldn't want what I read to be polluting their narrow confines of the genre). But I'm aware of the critical approaches to this literature that I enjoy, aware of academic thought about them. I like to defend the literary side of things, that there isn't nearly so much an anti-fantastic/speculative sentiment as some people within the genre like to claim--it seems especially those who think fantasy is only this narrow heroic segment who like to imagine vast forces of literary establishment arrayed against them while they're among the few brave defenders of a nobler sort of reading. Not at all, I say. Yes, there was a sharp divide back in the 60s...and one could argue that much of the writing at the time merited this divide. But the critical analysis of even those works and the ways the fantastic and speculative constantly push against the boundaries means that this silly sentiment of small minds has faded greatly today. I was allowed, even encouraged, by very literary professors to do my undergrad thesis on fantasy. It isn't the fantastic and speculative that draws a stigma, but a certain type of unaware writing that's intentionally divorced from anything intellectual. At least so I would argue.
I come across this. It's a review in Slate Magazine of Michael Chabon's new book. The tagline that appears on Slate's main page is "Michael Chabon's Tiresome Obsession With Genre Fiction," and the review begins "Michael Chabon has spent considerable energy trying to drag the decaying corpse of genre fiction out of the shallow grave where writers of serious literature abandoned it." This is a review (mostly) in praise of the book. Is she even aware of the many writers who destroy such a ridiculous statement? Writers generally considered mainstream (and serious) who borrow genre elements (like Chabon, or since I'm currently reading it, books like The Time Traveler's Wife)? Writers identified as speculative who treat it as very serious literature (and do so successfully)?
I guess every once in a while I need to be reminded that there really are still small-minded people out there who cling to ridiculous ideas about sharp dividing lines around what they read and fetters of a narrow sense of what serious literature can be.