Genre (1 Viewer)

McLake

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Many people seem to be worried about what genre theory is, and what they need to write about it. So here is a quick summary (feel free to ask questions, or add your own ideas):

- In ANY essay you should spend 1 or 2 sentences talinkg about Genre in general. I would talk about what genre is, and how it creaties boundries for texts to be written to, which audiences come to expect.

- In a Genre Theory essay you would spend a little more time explaing what genre means, but your focus uis still primarily on the actual Genre you are studying. In the case of Crime Fiction this would mean that you explain the conventions, the subgenre and the typical characters and scenarios. Check the ruberic for you topic for ideas.
 

Daemontreu

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Hmm... I always think with the genre question, you have to make the distinction between crime fiction and detective fiction depending upon the text you've chosen to analyse. And sometimes it helps to dredge up the golden oldies (Agatha Christie, Poe, and Conan Doyle) when you're talking about the original conventions. :)

Just my... half cent really.
 

arls

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Originally posted by McLake
Many people seem to be worried about what genre theory is, and what they need to write about it. So here is a quick summary (feel free to ask questions, or add your own ideas):

- In ANY essay you should spend 1 or 2 sentences talinkg about Genre in general. I would talk about what genre is, and how it creaties boundries for texts to be written to, which audiences come to expect.

- In a Genre Theory essay you would spend a little more time explaing what genre means, but your focus uis still primarily on the actual Genre you are studying. In the case of Crime Fiction this would mean that you explain the conventions, the subgenre and the typical characters and scenarios. Check the ruberic for you topic for ideas.
I would talk about what genre is, and how it creaties boundries for texts to be written to, which audiences come to expect.

i disagree with ure definition... i believe genre is more of a classification system that texts tend to fall under... genre does not creat boundaries or prescribe what the author must write about.. as it is fluid and flexible. authors do not usual look at a set of rules for the genre they will write... sure specific subgenres the audience may come to expect as they are popular, yet the breaking of that tradtion results in the evolution of a new subgenre itself.. sorry just had to put in my opinion for what its worth!
 

Daemontreu

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I still think there are boundaries... simply by writing in a specific way, you create boundaries for yourself. And usually, not always, but USUALLY, those boundaries and conventions are typified in that genre.

It's exactly the same as the classification system, except backwards.
 

arls

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Originally posted by Daemontreu
I still think there are boundaries... simply by writing in a specific way, you create boundaries for yourself. And usually, not always, but USUALLY, those boundaries and conventions are typified in that genre.

It's exactly the same as the classification system, except backwards.
yet there is no text that directly follows the 'boundaries' set by the genre! by writing in a specific way you may be adhering to SOME characteristics of the genre, yet every text is unique in itself and does NOT create its own boundaries. There is no text that is created to adhere to every single characteristic of a genre or subgenre therefore genre is flexible and has no boundaries. thats what makes genre such a general term, there are no boundaries by which the author must prescribe to ... IT IS JUST A CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM by which texts are classified to create ease for the reader, and an identifiable form or purpose...

maybe were both right?
 

arls

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i get the feeling its a matter of opinion... and that it depends on the angle you take with this issue... what do other ppl think?
 

Daemontreu

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Originally posted by arls
yet there is no text that directly follows the 'boundaries' set by the genre! by writing in a specific way you may be adhering to SOME characteristics of the genre, yet every text is unique in itself and does NOT create its own boundaries. There is no text that is created to adhere to every single characteristic of a genre or subgenre therefore genre is flexible and has no boundaries. thats what makes genre such a general term, there are no boundaries by which the author must prescribe to ... IT IS JUST A CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM by which texts are classified to create ease for the reader, and an identifiable form or purpose...

maybe were both right?
I'm so confused again. :confused:

What I mean is that because they're classified into that specific genre because of the way they're written, they have created their own boundaries... i.e. They probably won't be re-classified any time too soon. Hm... does that make more sense?

Otherwise I entirely agree with genre theory being a set of classifications that help us analyse the text more efficiently. And I also think perhaps "boundaries" is the word that is getting us into trouble/contradiction here. It should be something more along the lines of "guidelines" I think. Things that don't restrict or dictate, but are certainly there and help to classify a text?
 

arls

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Originally posted by Daemontreu
I'm so confused again. :confused:

What I mean is that because they're classified into that specific genre because of the way they're written, they have created their own boundaries... i.e. They probably won't be re-classified any time too soon. Hm... does that make more sense?

Otherwise I entirely agree with genre theory being a set of classifications that help us analyse the text more efficiently. And I also think perhaps "boundaries" is the word that is getting us into trouble/contradiction here. It should be something more along the lines of "guidelines" I think. Things that don't restrict or dictate, but are certainly there and help to classify a text?
dont be confused.. i think boundaries is the problem.. i see boundary as a word that is very closed and inflexible.. i can see your using it to describe the boundaries authors create in their own writing but it seems like a strange way to put it. i dont think authors create their own boundaries in writing a text. i dont really understand your ideology with that reclassification thing. but your ideas are probably right, its just that im not getting them.. guidlines is a loser (sp?) term, yet still suggests the authors are restricting themselves... maybe we should just aggree to disagree if this cannot be cleared up.

any1 else got opinions.. would be much appreciated to help solve this mystery! (like the pun?)
 

Roxy

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maybe the term genre loosely applies to a set of texts that adhere to certain conventions, however, since any text can transcend the boundaries of one genre and pass into another, for instance become a crime fiction and a revenge tragedy at the same time, these boundaries are nebulous and flexible.
therefore, conventions are open to being challenged, as well as adhered to, making the genre a text belongs to quite a loose definition of the characteristics of the text.
 

arls

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Originally posted by Roxy
maybe the term genre loosely applies to a set of texts that adhere to certain conventions, however, since any text can transcend the boundaries of one genre and pass into another, for instance become a crime fiction and a revenge tragedy at the same time, these boundaries are nebulous and flexible.
therefore, conventions are open to being challenged, as well as adhered to, making the genre a text belongs to quite a loose definition of the characteristics of the text.
thats a good way of putting it... thanks :) sounds like you've cleared up the problem!
 

Stuwy85

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My understanding of genre is that there will be a fundamental core that texts must subscribe to in order to be part of the genre such as mystery in crime fiction, but that the other conventions will adapt and change in accordance with the values of the society that the texts was composed in and for. The moral dilema created by crime leaves it open to an exploration of other ethical and moral focii, and often these focii will reflect a concern of the era, such as the rise of ultra-capitalism and organised crime in TBS or the post-modern nature of the questioning of bourgeois ideals prevalent in the middle class society of cosy fiction, in TRIH.

But yeah genre is a lose term, there are boundaries but loose ones, it must subscribe to some key element, as neale says "Genre's are instances of repetition", like i said like mystery and crime in CF, though from there conventions can be subverted in order to make the text pertinent to a new society.

Thats my understanding neway
 

arls

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thanks for that stuwy... uve got an interesting perspective..

btw.. could u explain what you mean by the "post-modern nature of the questioning of bourgeois ideals prevalent in the middle class society of cosy fiction," because im doing evil under the sun, an agatha christie novel and i didnt consider this point of the cosy school context. i was more looking at the context of WW2, and the appeal of Christies novels as they provided a means by which ppl could escape from reality and follow a problematic society that is 'fixed' by the detective... and stabilised unlike their own societies.... do you think i need to include some of this bourgeois stuff your talking about?
 

Stuwy85

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well ive only read a few christie books but ive noticed that the war books like "taken at the flood" are a bit different in style and thematic concerns to what i regard as her more "cosy" books like "the mystery of the blue train" i dont adress the wartime books like evil under the sun at all, and to be honest im a bit unfamiliar with the conventions as i havent read a christie book in months. I focus only on the cosy books in a "closed world" environment with bourgeois values etc, as this is what relates to the real inspector hound.

As far as "post-modern nature of the questioning of bourgeois ideals prevalent in the middle class society of cosy fiction," if u know nething about post modernism (and i know very little) it revolves around the questioning and challenging of dominant belief system and values examples include equal rights for women and blacks etc.

At the time of the composition of TRIH, (im guessing) the dominant values in the context of the composition of the text were the Bourgeois middle class ones presented in christies texts and satirised in Stoppards play hence stoppard is ridiculing and questioning the dominant value system, hence it is post modern.

As far as how this applies to the war time novels, im not sure but im guessing that assuming that you apply the values of your text to the context of its composition, i.e. WW2 and the need of society to escape from reality then u should be fine, assuming a)you have a basis (as i said i cant confirm if wat ur saying is right) and b) you support wat ur saying with both textual and contextual references.

In regards to "bourgeois stuff" as u put it lol, i think that it only really became prevalent in a post war british society but i could be wrong.

Neway its up to you how u approach it, i personally did not look at the WW2 texts so i wont write nething about them, if u dont write nething bout the later texts of christie, then u cant do ne worse then i do as we are both excluding a section of the cosy school, i would recommend though that u look at later texts as they relate better to TRIH, and i believe (could be wrong) that they better encapsulate the ideals of Cosy fiction.

Sorry for going on, hope it helps.
 

arls

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thanks heaps.. that was useful.. but i dont think you understood exactly what i meant.. the book i am doing is NOT a war time christie book... and it is one of her upper class typical cosy plots that is situated on an island with the typical cosy group on of ppl on holidays staying in a mansion etc. the war link i was referring to was the context of the book. it is written in 1941 and the only link to the context i could think of was the fact that england was involved in war at the time! Im guessing what your talking about is much later than this era, post war which therefore does not relate to the context of my text. if you can further think of some contexual references of 1941 Britain Id be glad for your input..... also Im not actually doing RIH, im doin snow falling on cedars and big sleep.
 

chrome

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ooooo some of this stuff on genre theory are pearls of wisdom lol... so using some of it for my assessments
 

Gregor Samsa

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A simple definition of genre (That could prove useful) is given by Seymour Chapman in 'Story In Discourse'. According to Chapman, genres consist simply of "Constructs or composites of features, or in other words, codes and conventions, thereby providing a nice link. :)
 

timrie6

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can anyone give me some info on genre in relation to speculative fiction?
 

scotty schaefer

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Originally posted by Roxy
conventions are open to being challenged, as well as adhered to, making the genre a text belongs to quite a loose definition of the characteristics of the text.
That is a really good way to put it, composers often subvert aspects of the genre as well
 

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