I fully admit that my idea of the state of contemporary literary fiction is that it is rife with beautiful language but that nothing ever happens. Entire paragraphs are spent describing the porch on someone's house; entire chapters are devoted to a trucker's decision to stop drinking. Similes, metaphors, and allusions abound. But when you get to the end and summarize the plot, it takes exactly one paragraph (for a book that could be 300 or more pages).
There is something to be said for beautiful language in fantasy novels; Catherynne M. Valente is an example of a fantasy novelist who conjures up some delightful imagery. And I will continue to read her books, but not all the time and not back-to-back. Guy Gavriel Kay has pretty language, historical accuracy, and interesting plots, though he doesn't lay on the figurative language quite as thickly as do some others.
Anyway, where I'm going with this is I wanted to share this from The Huffington Post:
What Is a Literary Novel?
I'll admit, it made me think about this issue from a different perspective. And it makes me wonder what fiction that's being produced (and which is popular) today will really stand the test of time? I can't believe it's these dime-a-dozen supernatural romances or any James Patterson novels, but then who's to say?
What fantasy is literary? What fantasy will be remembered in 100 years, if any?