12 August 2015

from Yahoo! Answers:

Books for teenagers are not works of art, they are products designed for a market. Discuss-?

It's all sexy vampires or glamorising suicide/death or spies (genre fiction, generally) to appeal to the stereotypical teenage brain and one series is much like another, all to get $$, movies etc.


Just because they are successful in the market, does not mean they were designed for it. It also does not mean the author only had money on their mind when they wrote it.

I'm sure some of them perhaps saw an opportunity, knew what the market needed (or what would sell), and wrote a book based on the success rate of others.

This however does not lessen the challenge that is writing a book. Regardless what an author decides to write about, it's not easy. It still takes time and determination with the knowledge that there could be no payout in the end anyways. Writing is art, regardless of the topic and whether or not certain individuals appreciate it.

Furthermore, this occurrence in which you see a huge fluctuation of similar novels being published around the same time after successful sales in that genre, are not limited to teen fiction. 

Jonnie Comet:

I'm going to agree with and disagree with Hazel's response. Just because they are successful in the market doesn't mean they were NOT designed for it. There's not much difference between a book being successful as literature and one being successful in the market. Personally I prefer the former; but maybe that's why I'm broke.

The philosophical definition of 'art' contains two major elements:
1. All art must be deliberate. It is done on purpose. Accidents are not art. Works of nature are not art. Art is what Man creates; Nature is what God creates. This is the classical Renaissance definition and, to those who are intellectually mature, this still stands up.

2. All art must make a statement. This is its purpose. It doesn't matter what the statement is, so long as it attempts to make a point about something-- really, anything. This is included in the twofold purpose of all literature and art-- 'to delight and instruct', or 'to educate and entertain'. As entertaining as all art is, it is merely a pretty picture or a chanted mantra without a purpose. Mere aesthetics is not art.

Now look at the teens' and children's books. Does the vampire story entertain you? Was it written deliberately (as opposed to by accident)? Does it have a message, attempting to make a point about something? No matter how banal, no matter if you disagree with it, no matter if you can't stand its style, genre, author's haircut or anything else, if it fulfils these basic criteria it is, essentially art. Taste isn't the issue-- purpose is.

Don't cloud the issue by contending it's designed to make money. There are many ways to make money. Making pipes makes money. Paving roads makes money. Reporting news makes money. None of these are art unless they fit the above definition. Literature that makes money is still literature. Maybe it's just distasteful literature.

(NO; journalism in its strictest, properest essence is only facts reporting. It is NOT 'art' per se.)

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