Having opened this topic in “Why you shouldn’t read A Song of Ice and Fire,” I’d like to explore a couple additional aspects in this first of a series of posts about the separation between bourgeois ideas and universal reality.
Bourgeois literature comes in a variety of different forms, but they are each linked together by the fact that they seek to sustain the exploitation of man.
If anybody’s curious about my definition of ‘bourgeois literature’, this is loosely gathered from the USA TODAY’s Best-Selling Books list, which serves as an indicator of bourgeois preference.
The romance novel traditionally outsells every other genre in the paperback variety, making it the most prevalent form of bourgeois literature.
Its overwhelming popularity is assisted of course by relating to our primal instincts, feelings shared across the world that transcend any natural boundaries we may encounter.
In spite of its prevalence, it has been recognized since ancient times as a genre generally lacking substance and literary merit.
Developed primarily in England, and later the United States, the genre is the exploitation of women who are increasingly alienated from normal social relations with men due to latter’s exploitation by the societal pervasiveness of easily accessible sexually suggestive content. Evidenced by its production almost exclusively within bourgeois nations, the genre serves as a balance to the decline of normal social interactions in a capitalist society.
Romance serves to provide a simplistic notion of social relations that are less-experienced in bourgeois culture due to the projection of the individual and the growth of abnormal social relations.
I will group together the sub-genres of mystery, crime, and psychopathic thrillers in order to analyze the genre’s effect within a bourgeois society.
Again appealing to primal instincts, thriller exploits the lack of physical activity and adrenaline-producing elements, which were natural to hunter-gatherer societies, but are largely absent from bourgeois and capitalist culture.
Its secondary purpose is to exploit again the abnormal social relations created by bourgeois conditions of exploitation and the commodification of the individual. Bourgeois society produces abnormal social conditions that create specifically psychopathic behaviors, the intrigue of which is then exploited by the thriller genre.
This genre is relatively newer than the previous two, but a natural development due to the proliferation of exploitation within bourgeois and capitalist society.
The inspiration genre grew out of the commodification of the individual, which was then translated into a means of exploitation. The inspiration genre is the glorification and exploration of the individual as a commodity. Other capitalists then consume the genre in an effort to perfect themselves as commodities in order to more successfully exploit their fellow man.
We must differentiate and acknowledge that there exists both a bourgeois fantasy genre and a universal fantasy genre, the characteristics of which will be described here.
Bourgeois fantasy is characterized primarily by the commodification of the individual. Authors who contribute to this genre create envision their characters as an end-state commodity affected by the world through character actions and experiences.
This differs from universal fantasy in which the authors create characters that represent ideas and notions of the world. Such characters are acted upon and allowed to change as the world affects them, coming into conflict only when the ideas that characters represent contradict another’s representation of ideas.
Secondarily and less commonly, bourgeois fantasy can also be characterized by feminism, which a natural growth in the progression of a capitalist society. Feminism allows bourgeois institutions access unfettered by gender in order to more effectively exploit the whole of mankind.
Feminism in bourgeois fantasy literature, then, is the celebration of equality between men and women, or even the occasional dominance of men by women within this particular genre. This is a societal construct perpetrated by bourgeois institutions in order to culturally normalize the exploitation of women in addition to the continued exploitation of their male counterparts.
Feminism is somewhat lacking in universal fantasy due to the celebration of normal social relations contained within this particular genre.
The self-help genre is comprised of the most unapologetic attempts at capitalist exploitation, presented as previously unknown ‘facts’ that the author seeks to present for the greater good. This is a false premise, as the author is unwaveringly exploiting the reader for capital gain. If not, the books would be offered for free.
Self-help is a growth from the commodification of the individual similar to the inspiration genre, but differing slightly because of the pursuit of additional capital gains resulting from the purchase of prescribed remedies, cures, etc.
It still adheres to the principle of the improvement of the individual as a commodity intended for exchange, and serves to promote the importance of the individual for such an exchange.
Self-help books also often contain information teaching opinions of the most effective means of exploiting others for self-preservation. This style of self-help book does not truly help the reader because of the omission of the reader’s need for a base of capital, which the reader is ironically supplying to the author instead.