Genre theory  

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* [[Literary genre]] * [[Literary genre]]
== External links == == External links ==
-* [http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Documents/intgenre/intgenre.html An Introduction to +* [http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Documents/intgenre/intgenre.html An Introduction to Genre Theory]
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 A simple example of the inherent meaning in an art form is that of a western film where two men face each other on a dusty and empty road; one dons a black hat, the other white. Independent of any external meaning, there is no way to tell what the situation might mean, but due to the long development of the "western" genre, it is clear to the informed audience that they are watching a gunfight showdown between a good guy and a bad guy.
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A simple example of the inherent meaning in an art form is that of a western film where two men face each other on a dusty and empty road; one dons a black hat, the other white. Independent of any external meaning, there is no way to tell what the situation might mean, but due to the long development of the "western" genre, it is clear to the informed audience that they are watching a gunfight showdown between a good guy and a bad guy.

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
The Fantastic: A Structural Approach to a Literary Genre
"A number of perennial doubts plague genre theory. Are genres really 'out there' in the world, or are they merely the constructions of analysts? Is there a finite taxonomy of genres or are they in principle infinite? Are genres timeless Platonic essences or ephemeral, time-bound entities? Are genres culture-bound or transcultural?... Should genre analysis be descriptive or proscriptive?' (Robert Stam 2000, 14) via Daniel Chandler, [1]

Genre theory is a structuralist approach to literary theory, film theory, and other cultural theories. When studying a genre in this way, one examines the structural elements that combine in the telling of a story and find patterns in collections of stories. When these elements (or codes) begin to carry inherent information, a genre is emerging.

Contents

When a medium is prefixed by genre-

When a medium is prefixed by the term genre- as in genre painting, genre film and genre fiction this usually has a derogatory connotation. The fact that these cultural artifacts belong to a genre - thus can be said to be generic - somehow makes them less valuable.

This is why one will find reviews stating such things as: "Although Spike Lee's latest film Inside Man is a genre film, his abilities as a director elevate it to a real auteur film." What makes Inside Man a genre film is that it fits in the category "heist movie", what makes it an auteur film is Spike Lee's artistic vision, his artistic merit, his personal vision on filmmaking.

Place and genre-theory

Place as a metaphor for genre theory: e.g. pornographic films are shown is special theaters, discotheques play club music, etc...

Mind-genres vs. body genres

In genre theory, narratology, visual culture and music, body genres refer to genres that have an effect on the spectator's body, a body caught in the grips of intense sensation or emotion. The body will display a physical reaction. The term was first brought forward by film scholar Linda Williams. Her definition did not include laughter. Generally, body genres are considered of lower value than "mind genres" (which appeal to the intellect rather than the body).

The physical reactions in body genres are:

The lifecycle of a genre

  1. a certain number of cultural products (films, music, books), share common characteristics , see avant-la-lettre, proto-
  2. critics notice similiarities and come up with a name (see neologism)
  3. the name is accepted by the audience and a genre is born , producers start to make products to fit the new genre classification see audience theory, culture industry
  4. parodies may arise

Exception to these rules in case of a manifesto.

Don Quixote and genre theory

Miguel Cervantes's Don Quixote has been called "the first novel" by many literary scholars (or the first of the modern European novels). It was published in two parts. The first part was published in 1605 and the second in 1615. It might be viewed as a parody of Le Morte d'Arthur (and other examples of the chivalric romance), in which case the novel form would be the direct result of poking fun at a collection of heroic folk legends. This is fully in keeping with the spirit of the age of enlightenment which began from about this time and delighted in giving a satirical twist to the stories and ideas of the past. It's worth noting that this trend toward satirising previous writings was only made possible by the printing press. Without the invention of mass produced copies of a book it would not be possible to assume the reader will have seen the earlier work and will thus understand the references within the text.


See also

By medium

External links




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Genre theory" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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