Oxymormon: LDS Literary Fiction and the Problem of Genre

What this means is that most Mormon literature can be defined right out of the category of "literary fiction," which privileges individual vision, subversive irony, and an alienated perspective. For the Mormon writer, by contrast, it is precisely the accessibility of the genres that makes them successful cultural figures for an affirmative performance. The value of the approach I've been outlining—that is, a critical attention to the Mormon relationship to artistic form—is that it allows us to understand these writers and interpret their work as meaningful in a Mormon context, rather than merely inert, or mere assimilation, or, worse, embarrassingly low-brow. Mormon writers embrace received forms through the superior performance of the same to affirm a cultural ethos of communal partaking. And it certainly doesn't hurt if the love interest takes off his shirt now and then.

5/17/2011 4:00:00 AM
  • Mormon
  • Salt and Seed
  • Art
  • Fiction
  • Genre
  • literature
  • Mormonism
  • Rosalynde Welch
    About Rosalynde Welch
    Rosalynde Welch is an independent scholar who makes her home in St. Louis, Missouri, with her husband and four children.
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