The problem is is that the question--what is the difference between literary fiction and popular fiction--can't be answered with common sense. The common sense way to answer the question is to look up some one's definition of "literary fiction" and "popular fiction" and write an answer based on that. Your answer cites a definition written by a science fiction author; other answers cite definitions written by the OP. Quite frankly there is no difference between the two. It doesn't matter if the definition comes from a professor of English or someone I met on the street; what matters is whether an argument can be built in support of the definition. An English Professor is as capable of making up a definition without explaining it as anyone else. It is the explanation that matters, not the definition.
Every answer this question has received doesn't seem to take into account that:
- Definitions change over time.
- People... not mysterious processes... are responsible for definitions changing over time.
- Not everyone uses the same definitions.
Most of the answers write in a passive voice (when you write "it is widely considered that" you don't have to specify who is doing the considering).
I've been encouraging people to write answers to that question using examples. One reason why I've been doing this is because once you start talking about a specific example of a book, you'll find that defining "literary fiction" and "genre fiction" is a lot more contentious than the answers portray it as. There are debates. People take sides.
when critiques were posted on the answer I edited to respond to them
As someone who wrote some of those critiques, in my mind the edits you made haven't really responded to my critiques. For example, you're still using the passive voice in your answer ("Literary fiction is often considered more prestigious").
Other people have also left critiques that as far as I can tell have not been responded to. Peter's comment is well worth reading and addressing:
Many standard elements of literary fiction were also sparked by a standard-setting literary predecessor — James Joyce was one of the first writers to use stream of consciousness, and many writers adapted the technique after him. I don't think this is a distinction between genre and literary fiction. Maybe a handful of writers used stream of consciousness before Joyce, but similarly a few authors wrote epic fantasy before Tolkien, and Arthur Conan Doyle wasn't the first writer of mystery stories.
This also goes to show that people vote for different reasons: I can only speak for myself, not the other person who downvoted the question nor for the four people who upvoted it. Voting is intentionally private; other than preventing people from targeting specific individuals, there are no rules about what can be voted on. We can't set policies about what gets upvoted or downvoted.
Meanwhile the highest ranked answer neither cites sources nor provides examples, is explicitly a personal opinion, and is, in substance, not dramatically different than my own.
Well, the one thing going for that answer is it is explicit about where its definition comes from. I still am not a fan of the answer--definitions don't depend on one person--but in that respect, I think it can be said to be better than the rest of the answers posted.