who decides what is literature? the writers sure don’t. the critics think they do, but they only decide what is literature in their corner of the Library. that leaves one category: the reader.
“writings in which expression and form, in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest, are characteristic or essential features, as poetry, novels, history, biography, and essays.” (Dictionary.com)
much of what is still considered ‘literature’ by the ‘establishment’ (critics, publishers, professors and copyright holders) has ceased to be of ‘universal interest’. meaning that the readers (i.e those who pick up a book to be abducted into an imaginary world) are no longer reading it. at the same time the reader is picking up books that the ‘establishment’ (critics, publishers, professors and copyright holders) look down their noses at – despite the fact that in 100 years such books will be ‘literature’ in the eyes of the future establishment.
funny, don’t you think?