Day 889: Genre Fiction as Something More

Day 889, a Monday, November 12. Mondays are the days when I have my “Juvenile Trash”: Genre Fiction class. Or… as a person doing a room survey at the university once said (or maybe the entire class misheard her?): “you… trash”. We read a book a week, form some kind of a theoretical opinion about it (=read some theoretical background materials) and/or attempt to write a similar kind of piece of fiction ourselves. This Monday was all about an early crime fiction story Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers. But it isn’t simply a detective story, which circles around and around a crime and its possible solutions. No. We looked at it as a social commentary on women’s higher education. There were many discussions among the characters, revolving around the topic of professional vs personal development. Should you get married or should you get a degree? In 1935, when the events of the story were happening, this was a huge issue. Not many universities even accepted women. Those who did had certain quotas in place. There couldn’t be more than 25% of women at the university. So, this was a story set in an all-female college, an invented one, erected on the cricket grounds of a real one, aiming to have a place of its own in the world.

In a way, it is quite a disappointment that the aristocrat-detective Wimsey appears and solves it all. Harriet could have done it. But it is also a love story and his coming is necessary. In the end, heroine Harriet manages to get it all: a career and a husband without having to sacrifice her personal desires. Well, maybe she had to give up the academic life a bit, but still, it’s possible. Genre fiction is not lower than ‘literary’ fiction. There might not even be such a thing like high and low literature distinction. Actually, some stories are badly written, so I myself think there is something. But I wouldn’t crucify genre fiction. Quite often, it sways away of the genre’s rules or does something more than simply adhering to them. It can tackle all kinds of topics.

Progress Report

1. Own and live in a house.

Super crazy and long day, didn’t even think of the house.

2. Write AND publish a book.

I completed two different kinds of creative writing exercises and developed an interesting idea I might just want to write about longer. A detective story set in the 1990s when Estonia became independent again. A tower block apartment building. Odd noises on the 6th floor. A know-it-all old lady on the 1st floor keeping a logbook which includes everyone’s comings and goings, as detected from her window or through the peephole in the door. Yes, why not?

3. Win a major race.

The first day of an easier training week. No running.

Photo of the Day


All in all, the day was nice in terms of the weather. It did rain a lot though, while I was on the bus en route Bristol-Cardiff.

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