Is Pornography Literature?

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the term “Literature”. What is literature?

According to the free online dictionary, literature is:

1. The body of written works of a language, period, or culture.

2. Imaginative or creative writing, especially of recognized artistic value: “Literature must be an analysis of experience and a synthesis of the findings into a unity” (Rebecca West).

3. The art or occupation of a literary writer.

4. The body of written work produced by scholars or researchers in a given field: medical literature.

5. Printed material: collected all the available literature on the subject.

6. Music All the compositions of a certain kind or for a specific instrument or ensemble: the symphonic literature.

I will be studying this next year, or more precisely I will be studying what a document is. The reason behind my thought is that I recently decided to give “Fifty Shades of Grey” by E.L. James a shot. I wanted to know what all the fuss was about.

Now, I haven’t finished more than 1/4 of the book, and I have read some pretty graphic books before, but I honestly doubt that I will ever finish it. In my opinion this is plain pornography disguised as a novel. You should be able to spot the plot of a book after 150 pages, but so far it’s boring me.

I usually finish a book no matter what, I even finished “Evermore” by Alyson Noel, and I wanted to slap some sense into the girl, but despite how frustrated the main character in that book made me, I was never bored. With Fifty Shades of Grey I find myself wanting to flip through the pages to see if something interesting is going to happen soon.

Some books are so delicately written, with such good descriptions that they can bare chapters of nothing but a long hike up a mountain (Tolkien’s work is an example of this), and though nothing much happens for a long while, the language of the author makes it more than worth it. Fifty shades of Grey is not such a book, and it is very easy for anyone who has read fanfiction to spot that this was started as a fanfic. Now don’t get me wrong; I love fanfiction, and I have read books before that were inspired by a fanfic the author wrote, and I have read the fanfic that inspired them (“City of Bones” by Cassandra Clare is one of them), so I wanted to give Fifty shades of Grey a fair chance, but the informal language of a fanfic does not belong in a book. Nor does the inner voices that is dancing samba; I swear Anastasia Steele has enough inner voices to land her in a mental institute.

If you have grown up reading fanfiction, as I have, then you might be familiar with the terms “lemon” and “lime”? This book was a citrus cocktail. For those of you who did not grow up reading your citrus fruits; lemon and lime is an indicator that the fanfic includes sexual scenes, where “lime” is slightly ‘worse’ than “lemon”.

I really did want to give this a chance, and I’m sure that for some, the getting to know Christian Grey is enough of a plot, but this was not the book for me. No offence to you if you did like it, I salute you, but in my opinion this was what we call PWP. Porn Without Plot, which works in a one-shot fanfic, but not in a 500 pages long book. And what’s with all the “oh my”? I got very tired of hearing Anastasia say/think “oh my” in every other sentence, hasn’t she got anything more sensible to say/think? You’re kinda predictable Miss Steele; grow a backbone.


How about you? -Have you read Fifty Shades of Grey? -Will you? -If you have, did you like it, and do you think I should give it another chance and finish it?



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4 Responses to Is Pornography Literature?

  1. Bex says:

    I’ve heard about the book and it doesn’t interest me in the slightest. After this blog it’s somehow even more unappealing (because I know the type of books you read and trust your opinion on what’s worth reading and what is not). Emma said it was porn for Twilight mums, or something like that, which made me laugh.

  2. Grace says:

    I haven’t read 50 Shades of Grey yet, but I would like to in the near future. I don’t think that I’ll like the book, but I have a review copy of a neat looking parody of it and I feel like it’s unfair to read parodies without having read the original source material.

    Novels with strong adult themes can be very literary. I don’t normally read erotica, but I’m reading a book of Sci-Fi/Fantasy erotica right now and am impressed by how literary a lot of it is. I think the trick is finding something that’s well-written and has a story that isn’t just sex.

  3. Luinriel says:

    Somehow I knew this would be about 50 Shades just by reading the posts title 😛 I’m concidering reading it. I doubt it will be my kind of thing though. I mean, I thought The Black Dagger Brotherhood could be a bit much sometimes, and that was just in the first book.

  4. Dravite says:

    I agree with Emma, but I’m sure some people might like it, if you’re looking for shocking porn and loads of clichés. But I have read too much to find those clichés charming, and I’m not fan of controlling men.

    I see your point, one should give it a chance, just to be fair. Which is why I was feeling a bit guilty about giving it a bad review without even finishing the book. But once you have read 1/3 of the book, and the plot has yet to emerge, then it’s not likely to be much of a plot.
    I read a lot of Fantacy/Sci-Fi erotica too, as long as the main focus of the books isn’t sex. I need a good, strong plot, if the book is just about sex, I’ll just get bored.

    Oh, if you thought “Dark Lover” was bad, then Fifty Shades is really not the book for you. Sure, the Black Dagger Brotherhood books has a couple of sex scenes here and there, and they get more graphical further into the series, but they’re not /just/ about the sex. They are also about personal development, dealing with the past, and the good vs. evil battle. So much more exciting than just sex.

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