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Introduction to LiteratureLiterary Genres HODGES FIGGISfounded in 1768 is a bookshoplocated in 58 Dawson Street Dublin.
2 Ireland It is given a passing mention inJames Joyce s novel Ulsysses 1922 chapter 3 WATERSTONES.
is a British book retailer thatoperates 283 shops mainly in theIt was established in 1982 by TimWaterstone Chris Baldick The Concise Oxford Dictionary of.
Literary Terms Oxford Oxford University Press 2001 pp 104 105 Genre The French term for a type species or class ofcomposition A literary genre is a recognizable andestablished category of written work employing such.
common CONVENTIONS as will prevent readers oraudiences from mistaking it for another kind Much ofthe confusion surrounding the term arises from thefact that it is used simultaneously for the most basicmodes of literary art LYRIC NARRATIVE DRAMATIC .
for the broadest categories of composition poetry prose fiction Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms cont and for more specialized sub categories which aredefined according to several different criteria including.
formal structure SONNET PICARESQUE NOVEL length NOVELLA EPIGRAM intention SATIRE effect COMEDY origin FOLKTALE and subjectmatter PASTORAL SCIENCE FICTION While some genres such as the pastoral ELEGY or the.
MELODRAMA have numerous conventions governingsubject style and form others like the NOVEL haveno agreed rules although they may include severalmore limited SUBGENRES Source Ways of Reading pp 41 47 .
In its most general sense genre simply means asort or type of text thriller horror movie musical autobiography tragedy etc The word comes from the Latin word genus meaning kind or type of anything not just literary or.
artistic works Genus in fact is still used to describe a technical sense oftype in the classi cation of species and generic is sometimesused to mean broad or with the properties of a whole type orclass .
Martin Montgomery Alan Durant Nigel Fabb TomFurniss and Sara Mills Ways of Reading 3rd Edition London and New York Routledge 2007 Ways of Reading cont There is an obvious convenience in being able to label.
texts We can t any given text into a class that offers aconvenient shorthand in which to describe what it islike it resembles others that people already know The notion is useful when applied not only to literaryworks but also to non literary discourse .
distinguishing the typical features of say a shoppinglist from those of food labeling a menu or a recipe Ways of Reading cont Difficulties For all its convenience however the notion of genre.
presents dif culties Is there a xed number of sorts oftext If so when and how was this decided and onwhat basis And who will decide for still evolvingtypes such as emergent styles in popular music texting or multimedia .
A more theoretical question also arises whether genreis a prescriptive category grouping features to beincorporated into writing or production of a given type or whether it is descriptive generalizing on the basisof agreement among language users .
Ways of Reading cont Classi cation on the basis of formalarrangement One basis for classifying texts is their formalproperties .
Sonnets for instance have fourteen lines andfollow distinctive stanzaic and rhyme patterns At the same time sonnets are a type of poetry which in turn exists within a conventional three waydistinction between poetry drama and ction a.
classi cation derived historically from Aristotle sdistinction between lyric epic or narrative and Aristotle On the Art of PoetryTranslated by Ingram BywaterOxford Clarendon Press 1920.
Our subject being Poetry I propose to speak notonly of the art in general but also of its species andtheir respective capacities of the structure of plotrequired for a good poem of the number and natureof the constituent parts of a poem and likewise of.
any other matters in the same line of inquiry Note Aristotle s work is better known under the title Poetics butthe translation quoted above is also relevant and reliable Aristotle cont Epic poetry and Tragedy as also Comedy .
Dithyrambic poetry and most flute playing andlyre playing are all viewed as a whole modes ofimitation But at the same time they differ from one another inthree ways either by a difference of kind in their.
means or by differences in the objects or in themanner of their imitations Plato left and Aristotle right a detail of The Schoolof Athens a fresco by Raphael Raffaello Sanzio daUrbino 1483 1520 .
Aristotle cont Classification according to the difference in themanner in which each kind of object is represented Given both the same means and the same kind ofobject for imitation one may either.
1 speak at one moment in narrative and at anotherin an assumed character as Homer does 2 one may remain the same throughout withoutany such change 3 the imitators may represent the whole story.
dramatically as though they were actually doing thethings described The Tripartite DivisionAristotle in the first passages of his work arguesthat different arts can be separated on the basis of.
the kinds of means they employ However youwon t find the so called Aristotelian tripartiteclassification in his poetics There is a divisionbetween dramatic poetry theatre as direct imitationof persons and epic poetry which is the narrative.
portrayal of human actions There is no clear cutrecognition of lyric poetry Direct expression ofpersonal feelings and thoughts was added after along process by the 16th century Ways of Reading cont .
Difficulties Aristotle further emphasized one particular distinguishing aspect of form who speaks Lyricsare uttered in the rst person in epic or narrative the narrator speaks in the rst person then lets.
characters speak for themselves in drama thecharacters do all the talking Although common ever since Aristotle genreclassi cation on the basis of formal differences canbe dif cult to sustain What about verse drama Or.
narrative poetry as in ballads Ways of Reading cont Classi cation on the basis of theme or topic Sometimes subject matter is the basis forgenre classi cation Texts show thematic.
af nities by treating the same or similar topics often topics or subject matter that may beespecially important for the society in whichthe texts circulate e g war love independence struggles .
Ways of Reading cont Difficulties The pastoral for instance is concerned withcountry life crime ction is about crime biography relates events in a life etc but in.
principle it is possible to treat any of thesetopics following formal conventions ofany of the different kinds listed above or indifferent moods that will create different kinds ofeffect on the reader or viewer .
Ways of Reading cont Classi cation on the basis of mood oranticipated response What a text is about can overlap with an attitude oremotion conventionally adopted towards that.
subject matter Pastoral often implies not just concern with countrylife but also a re ective or nostalgic mode Elegies although rst de ned on the basis of themetre they used became primarily concerned.
with lamenting deaths and often take the form ofpastoral elegies delivered in the personae ofshepherds Ways of Reading cont Difficulties.
A more complex case is that of tragedy Classicaltragedy combines conventions about theprotagonist the tragic hero who has a characterwith a crucial aw and conventions about thenature of the plot in which the main character.
typically suffers and dies At the same time tragedyis also de ned at least in Aristotle s account inPoetics by its characteristic mode of audienceresponse what Aristotle called catharsis or apurging or puri cation by means of feelings of pity.
and fear aroused in the audience by the dramaticspectacle Ways of Reading cont Classi cation on the basis of occasion Literary forms may now seem specialized kinds of.
discourse isolated from the rest of society andmainly discussed in literature classes but for mostof its history literature has not been marked offwithin speci ed boundaries in this way Rather itsinvolvement in public life including in various kinds.
of social ritual meant that many different texts hadtheir origins in composition for or performance onspeci c kinds of social occasion Ways of Reading cont An epithalamium is a poem written for and.
proclaimed at a public occasion in celebration ofa victorious person e g an athlete or a general Thegenre of elegy evolved during the seventeenthcentury into its modern role as a consolatory lamentfor the death of a particular person Ballads began.
as poems to be danced to but evolved into twodivergent traditions continuing folk ballads in theoral tradition and urban broadside balladscirculated as single sheets or chapbooks thattypically contained popular songs jests romantic.
tales and sensational topical stories Ways of Reading cont Classi cation on the basis of mode of address Even when dissociated from speci c socialoccasions or performance rituals texts are still in.
some cases labeled on the basis of how theyaddress their readers or audience Some textsinvolve direct address to a reader or audience e g public speeches letters others have a speci caddressee named in the text but are written so as to.
be overheard e g odes dialogue in most stagedrama Sometimes within a single form there isvariation between modes of address Genre ClassificationA few examples of various modes of.
Henry Fielding The History of Tom JonesBook X In Which the History Goes Forward about Twelve HoursI Containing Instructions Very Necessary to Be Perused byModern CriticsREADER it is impossible we should know what sort of.
person thou wilt be for perhaps thou may st be aslearned in human nature as Shakespear himself was and perhaps thou may st be no wiser than some of hiseditors Now lest this latter should be the case wethink proper before we go any farther together to give.
thee a few wholesome admonitions that thou may stnot as grossly misunderstand and misrepresent us assome of the said editors have misunderstood andmisrepresented their author Image is a frontispiece etching of Henry Fielding 1707 1754 from a.
1920 edition of The History of the Life of the Late Mr Jonathan Wild theGreat Original image is from a drawing by William Hogarth 1697 William Shakespeare Julius CaesarAct III Scene 1Rome Before the Capitol the Senate sitting above .
ANTONY O mighty Caesar dost thou lie so low Are all thy conquests glories triumphs spoils Shrunk to this little measure Fare thee well I know not gentlemen what you intend Who else must be let blood who else is rank .
If I myself there is no hour so fitAs Caesar s death hour nor no instrumentOf half that worth as those your swords made richWith the most noble blood of all this world I do beseech ye if you bear me hard .
Now whilst your purpled hands do reek and smoke Fulfil your pleasure Live a thousand years I shall not find myself so apt to die No place will please me so no mean of death As here by Caesar and by you cut off .
The choice and master spirits of this age Recognizing or deciding what genre a text is inWays of Reading Criteria for distinguishing different genres tend towork together rather than independently of one.
another Deciding what genre a text is in thereforeinvolves weighing up a number of interlockingconsiderations This can make it dif cult to judgewhether a text ts a category simply by ticking offfeatures in a list of required attributes .
Genre as an expression of conventionalWays of Reading An alternative to thinking of genre as a list ofessential properties is to start instead with the ideathat genres may be focused in especially in uential.
texts that serve as exemplary cases Sophocles sOedipus Rex c 400 BC is often appealed to as anexemplary tragedy for example a sort of benchmark with other texts de ned as tragedies to the extent thatthey are similar to it This view of genre where a.
prototype is taken to exist and where other textsare judged to be more or less close to the prototype enables texts to be assigned to genres even when theydo not have all the apparently necessary features Genre as an expression of conventional.
agreement cont It is also common for poets to create personae distinct from, and yet connected with, themselves; like Philip Larkin (1922-1985) in Mr Bleaney and Dockery and Son. A poet especially associated with the genre is Carol Ann Duffy (1955) who has used the genre for ironically and for gender-oriented purposes, lending her voice to historically muted ...

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