bad books

I just read a list called “10 Literary Masterpieces so Bad They’re Actually Good.” Its name pretty much gives it away, but I was nearly dying of laughter when I read the samples of prose from the listed books. One of which was a legendary Harry Potter fanfiction called My Immortal.

I honestly used to think that My Immortal was a good piece of fanfiction. Hear me out, here: I’ve never read the thing, but I have heard of it many times on different websites, and it’s always spoken of as being utterly brilliant and beautiful. And, stupidly, I didn’t see that everyone was being sarcastic. So this list opened my eyes to the truth about My Immortal and all its incoherent beauty…

Who could forget a main character with a name like Enoby Dark’ness Dementia Raven Way.

But honestly, I feel sort of guilty for laughing at the creative works of others. Some books and poems are truly awful, but it still feels rather wrong to laugh…I don’t know if this makes me a bad person, you see, and I don’t want to be a bad person. After all, everything written is a piece of creativity–these books just happen to be creativity that’s rather…*poorly articulated*. And I know the authors must have worked on it, spent time on it and thought about how it was all going to go. So is it wrong of me to criticize their work?

There are plenty of bad books around–just look at 50 Shades of Grey and you’ll want to find God–but how “bad” are they? If they’re really terrible, then does it matter that they exist? And it must hurt to be ridiculed for something you wrote, so does that make us bad people for insulting a bad book’s prose or nonsensical plot? And, what really makes a book bad? Is it just poor grammar and a nonexistent plot and two-dimensional characters? People’s opinions on what makes something bad differ, and I don’t know where you draw the line between good bad and middling literature.

I just don’t know.

But I still can’t help bursting into laughter when I read snippets of awful fanfiction.

That’s all for today. If you have an answer for or an opinion about my question, which is basically “does laughing at bad poetry and novels make me a bad person and if so why”, feel free to comment or something. Otherwise, just have a good day.

3 thoughts on “bad books”

  1. Wow, now I’m really curious about this Harry Potter fanfiction. xD Must be the literary equivalent of the movie The Room.
    And of course it is okay to laugh! In what kind of a world would we live if we were forbidden to laugh at something we find funny? It’s now like you went up to somebody who was an outspoken fan and rubbed it in his face. And though beauty is in the eye of the beholder, there are criteria which define a bad work of art, as the ones you’ve mentioned.
    And now please excuse me, I have to google that list….

  2. Yeah, is My Immortal a parody? The bad fanfictions out there have made me read more parodies than serious literature haha. I don’t think it makes you a bad person to think that way about someone else’s work. A little, or a lot, of constructive criticisms could immensely help the author to fill in plot holes and shape their characters. Everyone has room for improvement 🙂 but then again, we all need a bad literary work to laugh at every now and then.

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