What exactly is literary fiction and why do these people look down upon genre fiction authors?
I am totally confused. I guess I should google or wikipedia for "literary fiction". The dictionary is little help. All it (dictionary.reference.com in this case) says is:
1. pertaining to or of the nature of books and writings, especially those classed as literature: literary history.
2. pertaining to authorship: literary style.
3. versed in or acquainted with literature; well-read.
4. engaged in or having the profession of literature or writing: a literary man.
5. characterized by an excessive or affected display of learning; stilted; pedantic.
6. preferring books to actual experience; bookish.
1640–50; < Latin līterārius, litterārius of reading and writing. See letter, -ary
So, all books are literary and, extrapolating from that, so is all fiction.
Grargh. Okay, sometimes English fails me. Usually when English is being as illogical as this!