Academic journal article Global Media Journal

Influence of Mass Literature on the Reader's Consciousness

Academic journal article Global Media Journal

Influence of Mass Literature on the Reader's Consciousness

Article excerpt


In the last decades, mass literature ("para-literature", "pulp fiction", "trivial literature") gained high popularity among the readers. It includes melodramas, romance (pink), spy, criminal and costume-historical novels, thrillers, action novels, fantasy, etc.

Researchers define mass literature as "a relatively versatile concept, which signifies the lowest level of literature and includes the books, which are not the part of the official literature hierarchy of their time" [1]. Its specific characteristics are the sketchiness of the plot, stereotyped ideas and topics content, cliché in the elements of the artistic shape, which include "a completed context of emotions and moods" and recreate "psychological and ideological stereotypes" [2]. Mass literature follows the principle of repetition and serial stamp, because "the author's" affirmation is always determined by the principle of coherence with the expected by the audience and not by the attempts of independent exploration of the world" [3]. So, for example, the basis of a pink novel's plot contains of a story of a woman, who, after multiple difficulties, gains much desired women's happiness by the side of a handsome, strong and wealthy man. The titles of such books often contain words like "love", "heart", "kiss", etc. Women's novels have a happy end. The tragedy is not allowed in them, because it does not correspond with the expectations of the readers' audience.

In the novels of criminal content, in contrast to the classic detective, the episodes of pursuit, violence, fights and shootings prevail. Author's attention is concentrated not on the process of solving the committed crime, but on the grasping moments of the trial. The plot of the criminal novels develops mostly in the two storylines - of the criminal and of the detective, who not only oppose each other but are, in fact, almost competitors. Basically, they compete in dexterity, power, craft and courage.

Mass literature's works are commonly standardized in the approach for presenting the events, the reality and the information translation. They operate with a simple technique. The authors do not strive for novelty and experiments. Mass literature is "traditional, conservative and oriented at the average language semiotic norm, because it is addressed to a large readers'... audience". It has "strict genre- and thematic rules, which are the formal and content-defining models of prosaic novels" [4].

Mass literature's works often have stereotyped characters. They "almost always serve a certain plot function and do not leave the frames of a certain image" [2].

Mass literature's works have formulated language. Each genre has its range of style clichés. For example, action novels use slang, vulgarisms, jargon and argot lexicon. The speech of women's novels characters is high in sentimental and exalted statements.

The mass literature presents the simplification of the artistic idea. They gain a trivial, primitive nature.

Another common trait of the mass literature is the predictability of topics, plot twists, conflict situations and ways to solve them. Basically, the reader initially knows how the story will end and how the characters' destinies will resolve. It is explained by the fact that the writer regards the expectations of the audience - his potential recipients. Mass literature has the goal of satisfying the demands of a wide range of readers, which explains its wide distribution and enormous recognition among the people of very different generations and social statuses.

Melodramas, romance (pink), spy; criminal, costume-historical novels, thrillers, action novels, fantasy, etc. are the object of close attention of the researchers. Mass literature is studied in the works of Strecher, Elite, Swirski, Barsch, Gans, Chernyak, Kibalnik and others [5-11]. These works comprehend the phenomenon of mass literature and reveal its nature and specifics. The researchers reveal the factors, which define the development of such genres as detective, melodrama, thriller, action novel and fantasy. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.