Why Commercial Success Gets Criticized As Sentimental


Perhaps it is because there are so few proven paths to success, and so little success to go around, that when an acclaimed novelist actually succeeds on a large scale, highbrow critics can become vicious.

While the novels praised as “literary” by the critics rarely fly off bookstore shelves to become commercial successes, novels that do become commercial successes are often the ripe targets of critics’ ire. Over at the Atlantic, Ester Bloom explores the phenomenon where critics strip commercially successful books of literary merit and finds that there’s often a sexist trend that devalues women’s tastes.

Victor Luo is a graduate of UC Davis's MA in Creative Writing program specializing in fiction. He lives in Los Angeles where he loves never having to be cold. More from this author →