HIGHBROW VS LOWBROW WRITING

Here is a list of some of the works of great creativity that can be trashed in 1 line:
1. Boy and girl from warring families fall in love, are separated, and commit suicide – trash – Romeo & Juliet
2. Girl dresses up as boy to win her love – trash – As you Like It
3. Highly sexed woman has numerous affairs leading to her downfall – trash – Madam Bovary
4. Rich guy, poor girl have misunderstandings – trash – Pride & Prejudice
5. Change genders – Rich girl, poor guy have misunderstandings – trash – Persuasion
6. Change economic status and make them equal, shall we? – Poor guy, poor girl have
misunderstandings – trash – Mansfield Park
7. Change economic status again! – Rich guy, rich girl have misunderstandings – trash – Emma
8. A clever guy experiments if he can get away with killing people and can’t because of his own conscience – trash – Crime & Punishment

9. A clever guy experiments if he can get away with killing people and does because he has no conscience and a magical portrait in his room – trash – Picture Of Dorian Gray
10. Poor guy tries to pose as rich guy to win former girlfriend who is now rich and married, but no amount of posing helps – trash – The Great Gatsby
11. Rich guy turns poor girl away mistakenly and turns to bottle leading to self-destruction – trash – Devdas
12. Rich guy, poor girl have some more misunderstandings – trash – Parineeta
12. Rich girl, poor guy keep on having misunderstandings – trash – Datta
13. Now let’s make both of them women, shall we? – Rich girl, poor girl have misunderstandings – trash – Bindur Chhele
14. It get’s worse! – Rich guy, rich girl have such a misunderstanding that the guy kills the girl! – trash – Othello

Here, I have trashed 14 classics of literature for you since my birthday happens to fall on a 14th :-). Shall I go on?

I understood the ‘point’ of the post very well. Just because I ‘understand’ something doesn’t mean I ‘agree’ with it. I understand ‘prejudice’ thoroughly; I don’t accept it at all. The original post, like yours, I felt was prejudiced because it talked about two different things: ‘highbrow’ and ‘lowbrow’ clash going on on the publishing industry. Especially after the recent democratization that has happened mainly due to technological advances vs false social media advertising happening in a huge number of industries (not only publishing).

Truly, the phenomena you mentioned exists, but NOT only either in the publishing industry or just in the so called lowbrow segment of it. It exists across all industries and all segments of publishing, both highbrow and lowbrow. And I got the feeling from the article that it was more a grievance outpouring on why ‘lowbrow’ books were succeeding as opposed to ‘highbrow’ books than why false social media advertising was happening.

And that’s the reason I mentioned Hesse – whatever the difference in our quality of writing, we both understand that the distinction between highbrow and lowbrow is spurious at best and malicious at worst. At the end of Hesse’s ‘Steppenwolf’, the protagonist is condemned to listen to Mozart for eternity – that’s his punishment for the crime of trying to make a distinction between highbrow and lowbrow. Please take a moment to wonder why.

One is extremely welcome to write about the phenomena of false advertising in publishing industry – AFTER due diligence and research. If you want to do investigative journalism, please do so – all of us, the publishing industry as a whole, would benefit.

What you are NOT welcome to do is advance malicious rumors against people who may have nothing to do with your grievances. IF YOU ARE A WRITER, you would know that to be acknowledged as a good writer by our readers is a dream that we passionately pursue. By advancing such rumors against me & Durjoy and others, you are hurting that dream just because we and our readers are different from you and enjoy different things than you.

With my 1st book, I have written for a different target segment than you aim to write for. Yes, there are different types of people in this world – just an hour’s analysis of the number of genres in this world would tell you the diversity of what people read in this world. From Dostoevsky to Christian romance, from Bertrand Russel & Ezra Pound to BDSM erotica, from Kant’s philosophy to Manga comics. Are you trying to claim that the millions of readers across the world that made Fifty Shades of Gray such a resounding success, so much so that it lead to the creation of a genre all by itself called ‘Mommy Porn’, were all a sleigh of hand conjured by E.L.James or her publishers? That you don’t want to acknowledge the existence of such people in the world who are different from you speaks more about you than about them.

All I am saying is, just because people are different from and read differently from you doesn’t make them necessarily evil or non-existent. Please remember that.

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