I’m reminded of Mary McCarthy’s observation (dicta) that SF and Fantasy “novels” are not novels at all, since the word itself, the new thing, referred to long prose narratives that were no longer about gods and ghosts and dragons and fantastical stuff, but about everyday life. Manners, morals and money. That was a very original (novel) concept in the early 19th century when the “novel” was born.
As to beauty, that’s a not uncommon thing. Spoons and fences, bowls and weapons, as well as tales have always been crafted with an eye toward symmetry. It’s the way humans work.
All literature is about ideas.
Ed: That wraps up the official Roundtable portion of the discussion, so now it moves into the comments. Any thoughts?