Choosing not to read a work because you feel it isn't worth your time and doesn't interest you... all well and good. My response to which would be
simply, "Ah, cool beans. That's your prerogative, carry on. We all like and derive value from different things."
It’s time we stopped this pretence that mediocrity is equal to genius.
... however, is literary elitism and is my least favorite debate to enter into on the internet because 1) it never ends, 2) it can never be "won," and
3) people who hold that view of art never, ever seem to simply agree to disagree.
It crosses the line from subjective appraisal, and seeks to impose objective criteria upon art to assert its value not just to the person speaking,
but to all. Objectively, the only metrics for a work's importance are its influence on other artists, its cultural impact, how widely it is adopted,
grammatical correctness, and its novelty. Those are the only things about it we can measure objectively (other than technical details such as its
duration, word count, etc.) And maybe, arguably, its workmanship... if it's something like, say, architecture where structural soundness matters. But
if it's a literary work, then apart from gross grammatical errors (unless intentional for some given purpose,) workmanship basically is
interchangeable with stylistic intent or tendency.
And none of those things can objectively declare a thing "good" or "bad" relative to other works, much less "genius" or "mediocre." (Or are we going
to IQ test the authors and compare?) They merely allow you to make objective statements about the work... not about its subjective value on a person
to person basis.
Beyond that, all appraisals of the value or worthiness of a work of art - let alone its "goodness" or "badness" - are utterly subjective, predicated
upon subjective criteria such as how the work made you feel, how it expanded or stimulated your mind, how refreshing you found it to be, how well you
feel it was written/composed stylistically, etc. etc. All of those are subjective criteria because one may or may not include them in their definition
of why something is of greater or lesser relevance or worthiness to anything else. One can literally just say, "I don't care about that particular
criterion, that's not what I value in this particular art form."
I go back to the musical analogy. Is Malmsteen a superior guitarist and artist to Hendrix because he can play in more modes and scales, faster, with
more complexity and precision, and has a grasp of music theory? More (be it notes, modes, scales, progressions, or even simply knowledge) doesn't
automatically equal better. It depends on what it is YOU value in art. Personally I appreciate them both, but that's beside the point.
Making the assertion, outright, that something is objectively
mediocre versus other works...
That's the real pretense, imho.