Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Too Clean?

As the debate rages in Christian fiction about "edgy" fiction, a Mormon author making the following pledge:

Mark the date and save this text. I will never use foul, crude, disgusting language or create explicit images of sex or graphic violence.

This is from Jason F. Wright, an author I am unfamiliar with, but I saw this article linked on Facebook and was curious. There is a subculture of LDS fiction just as there is for the evangelical world in the CBA. I've not read any of these books, but seeing them at the library, I can tell there are similarities (such as making knock-offs of popular general fiction such as DaVinci Code).

He asks the question if anyone has put down a book because it is too clean. Since the source of this article is "Mormon Times," I would expect the answer to be "no". I admire how he knows his place as an author and his determination to stick to his beliefs.

Still, I think people have put down books for being "too clean" if the book was also too unrealistic, uninteresting, or a combination. Can a good book be clean without the issues he labels above? Certainly. His point about older literature succeeding without gory details of sex, violence, or language is a poignant one considering our culture that demands "realism" above all.

Since I've participated in the discussion of edgy Christian fiction, the statement caught my eye. I still believe there is an argument for fiction that glorifies God and speaks to the culture while being grittier than your standard CBA fare, it is good to remember that each author has their own calling, and needs to stay true to that. It would not ring true to have a gritty Amish novel by certain authors, just as Ted Dekker writing a pure, sugary sweet prairie romance would be WAY out of character ;)

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