Let’s be honest, down there in the gutter is where most of us live better than half the time anyhow, probably a lot more than half. And if we are talking about those states of consciousness kept on back-burner low-simmer, we have to jack the figure up to maybe ninety per cent of the time, maybe ninety-eight. At this point, some impolite character like me comes along and says, It’s too bad you find this stuff so unacceptable when it takes up so much of your life, hmmm, couldn’t you maybe revise your category stances and define all this prime-time, tight-focus actuality in a different way? Because let’s face it, you don’t spend your life hang-gliding from one emotional peak to another, do you. The only way you recognize an emotional peak when you are fortunate enough to experience one is that it feels so different from the rest of your life, hmmm, let’s make that little noise again, hmmm, it’s so expressive of almost unwilling mentation. Why, we could say, it’s almost as though we were designed to be struggling and limping our way through the lowlands and gutterscapes, it’s like, you know, that’s the point, the struggling and limping, the gutterscapes so foul so fragrant. The point. The more you take in, the more you see. Shame shock blood pain grief suffering… you might even say, that’s the good part.
— Peter Straub on genre and literary in a must read article.