Literary journalism and law student from Australia.
Junior Contributor I
What is Literary Merit, Exactly?
To a certain extent, genre fiction like fantasy, science fiction and romance are disparaged as being "lesser" than literary fiction. Like Margaret Atwood’s "The Handmaid’s Tale" however, the line between genre and literary fiction can often be blurred.
It begs the question: what is literary merit, exactly?
Is literary merit purely contingent on thematic complexity? Is it the author’s mastery of prose? Can purely "feel-good" works be considered as literarily meritious?