Parker’s Rules of Literature

  1. Always doubt what an author tells you about his work.
  2. It’s fiction, not life.
  3. Only evaluations within a genre are useful.
  4. Not everything is symbolic or even important.
  5. Unfathomable complexity does not automatically signal great writing.
  6. Simple texts are often complex.
  7. Uncle Joe and Aunt Mabel were not the models for the characters in the novel you are reading.
  8. Literature should be read in the context of when it was written and not judged by current standards.
  9. Non-Fiction is a meaningless term.
  10. Knowledge of secondary resources is no substitute for knowledge of the primary resource.
  11. All rules are made to be broken but consider the consequences.

5 thoughts on “Rules

  1. I called them “Rules” suspecting that “Universal Truths” might be considered too pretentious. But whatever they are called, they are for all readers to laminate on a small bookmark or tattoo on their knuckles or use in any way they desire … be my guest.


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