The question grammar for describing plots had a few comments that touched upon the differences between literary novels and entertainment novel which made me think. So I searched the SE for any previous questions pertaining to the difference between the two and found what is literary fiction?, which collected answers that, while interesting, were mostly opinion based.
So I ask: What is the difference between (capital L) Literature and entertainment literature?
Let's try to avoid value judgements (just because some books within both categories may be utter rubbish, that does not value the category itself has greater or lesser value)
I predict some of you will mention genre, but there are canon literature books that are also genre (Frankenstein is horror, Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go is a dystopian sci-fi fantasy, etc)
I've been thinking over the comments and answers which have led me to a better understanding of what I'm looking for.
The fact that there isn't an authoritative definition of literature and literary works leads to many definitions (academical, commercial, popular, ...). Therefore I'll try to clarify some working definitions for the purpose of this question.
literature / literary novel = a genre (that may overlap with other genres, just like romance can overlap with sci-fi)
Literature = a novel (because we're mostly dealing with novels here) written within any genre (sci-fi, romance, literature, mystery, ...) that is recognised (usually after some years, if not decades) to be above its contemporary works because of (elusive reasons).
Now say you've been asked to organise a workshop for aspiring writers who long to create an elusive work of Literature in their own preferred genre. The first point of the workshop is precisely to understand what separates Literature from all the rest (while the rest includes from works ranging from terrible to fairly good or even overall great).
So, what are those elusive reasons that can have a piece of work in whatever genre stand out above everything else?