General Question

Pango_Vine's avatar

Whatis literary value?

Asked by Pango_Vine (27points) January 12th, 2009

I need to write an essay on The Andromeda Strain and I need to include the literary value. Thing is, I have no clue what that means. It’s due in 4 hours…I’m so screwed.

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14 Answers

Cardinal's avatar

Do your own research on words if you don’t know what they mean!

Pango_Vine's avatar

I had tried and I couldn’t find anything.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I would construe that to mean how it’s influenced other writing and its place within the genre.

Grisson's avatar

I think it’s a fair question. I would interpret it to mean is this literature or just a novel. The keywords in the Random House ( definition of literature are “permanent and universal interest”. In other words: Is Andromeda Strain serious literature? or just Science Fiction fluff?

bythebay's avatar

@Pango_Vine – That’s what I sent you the PM for early this morning; I found several helpful links and gave you a starting point. What else do you need?

wundayatta's avatar

Before the Andromeda Strain, Science Fiction was seen as what Grisson wrongfully said: fluff. Science Fiction had long jumped the boundaries of its pulp origins to become very serious fiction dealing with very serious issues, with well-drawn characters, as well as the big item SF was known for: plot.

The Andromeda Strain, one could argue, represents the breakout of science fiction into the genre of general fiction (which may not be a genre at all) or perhaps even the big L word: literature. After than, the perception of science fiction amongst the mundanes gradually became more respectful.

Of course, nowadays it is common for science fiction to be taught in high school and college classes as literature. The transition into the mainstream, for the most part, has been made, although there are the odd snobs who think it’s still “fluff.”

Anyway, while I’m not at all sure what “literary value” means, it could be the sense of the place of the book within the perception of the book-consuming public.

By the way, if you use anything I wrote up there, you had better attribute it to daloon, or I’ll send the copyright police after you. However, you probably won’t need to, as, no doubt, your opinion is different.

Macafy's avatar

Pango….here is an answer…

A tip incase you were not aware….if you put your google/search inquiry in double quotes you search will be narrowed and more meaningful. If you add ‘and’ a further defining term like in this case defined’ the search is narrowed further:
“literary value” and Defined

Hope this helps.
Note for Cardinal: Everything is easy when you know how.
Thumping a ‘seeker of wisdom’ for asking questions is the surest way to get complete ignorance. Sadly too many teachers have not yet ‘learned’ that.

Grisson's avatar

@daloon Not all science fiction is fluff. But if it isn’t, it usually has the staying power that would qualify it as literature. For example: Asimov, Clark, Niven, and yes, Crichton.

cwilbur's avatar

Yes, you are screwed. You probably ought to have asked your teacher this very question a week ago. Good luck!

Ria777's avatar

@Grisson, you seem to have missed daloon’s meaning.

@daloon, The Andromedia Strain didn’t get packaged as a science fiction novel, so I can’t see how you could credit it with improving sf’s literary reputation.

Grisson's avatar

@Ria777 daloon said ”...what Grisson wrongfully said: fluff”. I don’t think I missed it.

I said, effectively that science fiction can be literature or it can be fluff. I suppose there is some room in between, so I can I understand daloon’s reaction.

wundayatta's avatar

@Ria777: Maybe I didn’t make myself clear. It was a science fiction novel, but it was packaged as a mainstream novel. I.e., it’s importance is being one of the first sf novels to cross over to the mainstream market, thus showing that sf is mainstream, and improving it’s literary reputation.

Ria777's avatar

@daloon, not by a long shot the only sf book packaged as a mainstream book. the first edition of The Science Fiction Encyclopedia by Clute and Nichols pointed out that by the editors’ estimation, half of sf novels (versus short fiction) published in the English language had mainstream packaging.

I honestly think that Dune and Stranger in a Strange Land would have had a greater effect than the work of Michael Crichton. (not counting Nineteen Eighty-Four, Brave New World and the novel version of Flowers For Algernon and the works of Vonnegut.)

wundayatta's avatar

@Ria777 When I read Dune and Stranger in a Strange Land, they were most certainly on the sf shelves, and considered trash by the literati. Of course, now they are famous but, had they not been sf, I probably wouldn’t have read them. Even today, sf is the only fiction I read. It’s nice when I see the same book on both the mainstream shelves and the sf shelves, but there are not a lot of books cross-listed, and of those that are, most seem to be from the fantasy side of the genre.

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