Thursday, February 16, 2006

A matter of taste or something else?

Dave wrote about something interesting today at Faith in Fiction: the challenge of describing a book. He suggests that literary fiction is harder to describe, or at least to narrow down, than general or genre fiction. Read the whole post to get his point, which is a good one. Of course, I have trouble describing my novel, but I don't think it's because it's literary -- I'm not going to blame my own muddled themes on some pretension of being great art.

But as I read this I started thinking about music (one thing leads to another, you know). A lot of music that I like is hard to classify as any one particular genre. Case in point: at the moment the song I'm listening to is Low Spark of High-heeled Boys, by Traffic. Great song, not exactly rock, not exactly jazz. Most of my favorite songs blend disparate elements into a pleasing whole (at least it is for me). This is the music I come back to over and over again. (OK, Kickstart My Heart is pure straight-up rock and roll, but the exception proves the rule, right?) I like music that has a lot going on, which holds up better to repeated listenings.

Sometimes I want to write stories that are like my favorite music. Whether I'll attain that goal or not is another question.

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