Several writers known for fantasy and science fiction have semi-seriously called themselves the Pre-Joycean Fellowship to indicate that they value 19th-century values of storytelling, including clarity, called by Jane Yolen the "lovely limpid quality" of writing. Steven Brust has said that "it is in large part a joke, and in another large part a way to start literary arguments".
The term was probably coined by Will Shetterly in imitation of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, positing James Joyce as the dividing line (in English) between 19th-century fiction intended for a general audience and a modern desire to write for readers who are well educated in the literary history. Mark Alan Arnold commented, "The Pre-Joycean Fellowship exists to poke fun at the excesses of contemporary literature while simultaneously mining it for everything of value."
The name was meant as a joke; a "gathering of the PJF" was an excuse for writers with shared interests to meet at a bar. Steven Brust took the joke public when he began signing "PJF" after his name on his title pages.
Members have included:
- Take Joy: A Writer's Guide to Loving the Craft, by Jane Yolen, 2006. ISBN 1582973857.
- Re: Initials after Brust's name, by Steven Brust, rec.arts.sf.written, 1996/12/12, MessageID: email@example.com
- Re: Steven K. Z. Brust, PJF, by William Shetterly, rec.arts.sf.written, 1995/08/05
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