To these “haters” and to those of you interested in this battle, I would like to point out several “fantasy” books which have become classics.
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Le Morte d'Arthur by Thomas Sir Mallory
Idylls of the King by Alfred Tennyson
Watership Down By Richard Adams
Don Quixote By Miguel De Cervantes
Authors that have written more than one classic fantasy: Tolkien, Shakespeare.
In our sister genre: science fiction, we see many classics:
Turn of the Screw
It seems to me that many naysayers believe that fantasy is unbelievably easy to write and a fantasy writer has no credibility as an author. To me, a fantasy novel is just as difficult as writing any other novel, and as the aforementioned books show, fantasy novels can contain material that not only lets them transcend the limited beliefs placed upon their genre but also makes them thought provoking or insightful novels independent of fantastical or scientific elements.
I think it is just as likely for any fiction novel to be crap as it is for a fantasy novel to be crap. With that in mind, it is also as likely for a fantasy novel to be superior to the majority of the rest of what is published as it is for any other genre to be placed above the mainstream novels.
Ultimately, if you are a fantasy reader or writer, be proud of your genre, especially because it is proving that it should be respected with each new publication printed.