Genre fiction tries its hardest to fit into a genre, to the point that it is devoid of literary value.
The same idea extends to television and film: cultural phenomena that existed due to the attitude of the 60s like Star Trek or 2001 have more literary value than something like Guardians of the Galaxy, which spends something like 3 hours trying to be as sci-fi as possible.
Similarly, fiction about WWII written after or during WWII has more literary value than something written in the 90s. A Medieval Romance has more literary value than a modern fantasy novel because it has cultural relevance, despite both following a genre.
A Japanese man writing about something in Japanese culture has more literary merit than a weeb doing the same.
Literary fiction is a genre of fiction; it aims for an emotional impact on the reader and often relies on form and technique more than plot to achieve this. Genre fiction is usually used to refer to genres that developed out of the mass market publishing boom in the early half of the last century. Things like "sci-fi" or "horror" often get brushed with this, but originally most of the disdain in the industry for" genre fiction" was because of the endless cowboy novels people wouldn't stop reading. New genres are constantly developing, and what constitutes a genre changes with time. For instance, "speculative fiction" wants to be considered a different genre to "sci-fi" now, but the Greeks only recognised the genres of "comedic" and "tragic" when they started classifying genres of drama. Most of the people criticising "genre" fiction probably mean they dislike the pulp end of mass market, but they also probably buy their literary fiction mass market too and are unaware of these ironies.
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