I’ve taken a renewed interest in pulp writers. Back in in the mid 1900s, the pulp writers dominated the news stands. At least, as far as I know. A number of classic characters were born from the pulps. Characters like The Shadow, Zorro, the Phantom Detective, I think Conan, and so many others.

It’s funny because those writers were so prolific, often times writing under multiple pen names, but it was just a job for them. They were writers, no doubt about it, but pulp magazines (aptly named that because of the kind of cheap paper they were printed on) were just trying to make a buck. They were doing so, while still wanting to write “The Great American Novel.”

I’m trying to do more research on these pulp writers, but I assume they had the same mindset as many writers today. Unless you’re published by a big publisher, get awarded or at least nominated for prestigious publishing recognition, and your name is in the headlines, then you’re writing is subpar. It’s trash. It’s just mindless stories and not “literary fiction”.

Literary fiction to me is such a trash concept. If someone thinks classics like those born during the pulp era aren’t real literature because it doesn’t have flowery prose or isn’t a piece of work that’s a slog to get through and puts you to sleep, well then I think that person thinks a little to highly of themselves and what they read or write.

Traditional literary fiction, the kind that we were assigned to read back in high school and college, have won awards by some know-it-alls, but I could care less. Literary fiction is the reason I didn’t think I liked reading when I was little. Literary fiction is the reason I didn’t trying writing until much later in life because I thought books had to be verbose, full of words I didn’t understand, and six-hundred page tomes.

They don’t.

Action-adventure stories, spy stories, mysteries, science fiction. It’s all literary fiction to me in the most literal way. It’s fiction that’s literature. The thing that matters the most to me about a book isn’t the word count or how many best seller lists it hit, but if it entertained me.

The pulp writers entertained their audience.

I want to be like a pulp writer.

See you tomorrow.

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