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

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.

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