Cheryl Morgan’s response to my post yesterday reminds me of a principle that I’ve always kept in mind (as I compile self-published books on the one hand, and compile evidence to identify those ‘canonical’ books in the field on the other), to wit:
- There is no work of art, however awful, that someone, somewhere, does not think is a work of genius; and
- There is no work of art, however classic or canonical, that someone, somewhere, does not think is awful and a complete waste of time.
This is probably Somebody’s Law, though I don’t know whose, and I don’t remember where I first heard it. (Obviously I’m paraphrasing.) As evidence for the former, see Cheryl’s comment. For the latter, any collection of Amazon reviews of ‘classic’ works of literature (or SF), or the occasional compilations of egregious examples of same.