“Literary fiction can, like most fiction, be unimportant. It can also be unserious: some of the best of it is. I’d call Italo Calvino’s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller literary fiction, but it doesn’t strike me as either important or serious. It’s a glorious game.
“[…] I’d suggest that the main identifying feature [of literary fiction]—and in this respect literary writing can and does compass and mingle with any number of other genres—is to do with complexity and depth of attention.”