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Genre (1 Viewer)

joshhopp

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I'm hearing alot about defining and exploring the nature of "genre" itself...I could be wrong, but the outcomes I've seen for genre ... well crime ficiton at least... are just looking at the conventions and cultural values of each text. I've never seen or heard of markers wanting to hear about each student's perception of the nature of genre. Am I wrong?
 

4play

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joshhop -
this is from the 2003 ext1 hsc paper
"How useful is it to understand texts in terms of genre? Are texts more engaging when they conform to the conventions, or when they challenge and play with the conventions?"

here they ask you to either make a judgement on if you agree that texts are better when they conform, or better when the dont conform and play or bend the conventions.

your right in the fact that we have to explore the conventions and inherent values of a text, but i also think that you have to explore the nature of genre a bit in order to 1) present your point of view on whether or not you agree/disagree with the question (the above question is just an example, but i think its pretty standard in relation to what youll prolly be asked) and 2) properly explore the conventions and values in genre if you are going to use them to explore a text

i dont think much will be riding on the opinion/perspective for the nature of genre, but i think it is good to explore it a little, and will most likely help in your argument
 

Candypants

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Last year's HSC left room for a student's perception, or rather, what we understand genre to be. This doesn't mean use I, or I think genre is this, but to formally express to them that you have a sound understanding of genre.
 

cleopatra

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isnt one of the points of the course for us to realise that genre can be either conformed to or challenged?

For last years question "How useful is it to understand texts in terms of genre? Are texts more engaging when they conform to the conventions, or when they challenge and play with the conventions?" my line of arguement would be...

"When considering texts it is useful to take genre into account, as it primarily provides established premises for the responder and composer alike. However texts often prove more captivating when they challenge and subvert the boundaries of genre and defy expectations."

for a question about the exsistance of genre in contempory literature id obviously argue both, then settle with traditional views of genre exsisting less or meaning less now. I would say that genre is a way of cassifying texts which have similar features (of course id put more effort into this wording if it wasnt 12:50 at night)

its really important to mould your definition to the question rite? i would for example use these more static terms for a q that was in re to the traditional views of genre AS being boundaries etc, however in relation to a contempory literary analysis of genre one would argue that it provides basic guidlines, however is quite fluid. And of course the development of literature and genres themselves rely on this challenging of the boundaries.

for one of my assesments i studied a critique called "parody and detective fiction" (partucular to the classic crime fict) anyway it was awesome. To understand it one must reconsider their definition of parody as maintaining parts of previous texts yet developing others rather than a completly malicious or rediculous recreation. Get it?
It said that there is heaps of parody in crime fiction that is less intentional than the obvious satire of TRIH. For eg, the sidekick is a parody of the detective, red herrings are parodies of real clues, and most important all cf texts are parodies of their predecessors.

The 1st CF writer, Wilkie Collins parodied the gothic horror writers of the 1800's in keeping the ideas of horror, chaos and disorder, while SUBVERTING them by ommiting the supernatural causes of this horror and making it more human(this did BTW prove more horrific for the victorians who were forced to consider the capabilities of the human rather than a make believe monster.)
this development thru parody continued with poe, doyle and then christie hammett and chandler etc, and is responsible for the creation and the development of the cf genre, and its subsequent sub-genres.

Without challenging genre what texts would we be still creating today? I dont even know what the first creative stories would be? myths and religious stories i can only presume...it would get rather old though wouldnt it?

Im sorry bout the raving, i dont know how that was relevent, but its interesting. lol.
 

winicat

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some notes on genre our teacher got from some thing with marilyn pretorius:
  • understand the notion of genre as a fluid concept
    genre can be adapted to different times and cultures, and the attitudes and vales reflected by these adaptations
    genre texts are often hybrids - thriller romance, revenge tragedy
there isn't really anything that says genres have to stick to the conventions they are given, i see them more as guide lines. everywhere you look genres are being shaped and changed by the society and culture in which the text is being/has been formed.
the syllabus would probably have a definition of genre that they would have to accept. in fact, it tells you to "demonstrate an understanding of the conventions of the genre and the ideas and values associated with the genre". i take this to mean that you learn about the genre's conventions, but then you also see how they have been adapted by composers to suit their contexts.
 

steffo

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Daemontreu said:
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.
it's chicken and egg stuff I think.
the genre is only there because we made up the theory of the genre. writers are only considered to write within a genre because we now have systems of classification in place that allow us to form expectations and assumptions of what will happen in the text, i believe.

:)
 

SimbadTheSailor

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The speculative fiction genre is almost a hypocrisy becuase its core feature is the defying of convention and speculating on 'what if'. Since we're doing the HSC, though, we must be lenient and treat it as a genre anyway. To this end, splitting the genre into science fiction and fantasy is useful (which is strongly hinted at by the HSC syllabus, which referrs to a 'blurring of the two').
I believe that adopting a rigid definition and concept of this genre is unwise because it is impossibly etherial and dynamic. When sitting for the exam, be prepared to apply any number of definitoins that happen to suit the question, rather than making the question suit your defintion.
Nevertheless, it can generally be said that science fiction looks to the future in its speculation on technological advancement and the frontiers of the logical and scientific. For example, cyberpunk is a science fiction subgenre that deals with 'what ifs' in the realm of computers and manifests itself in movies such as 'The Matrix'.
Fantasy generally is more impossible, improbable and fancifual in nature. It looks to the past in its portrayal of vaguely medieval worlds and the 'swords and sorcery' element. A classic example that embodies almost every convention of fantasy is also one of the prescribed texts: 'The Lord of the Rings: the Fellowship of the Ring'.
I hope this has helped you.
 

omar273

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make sure you discuss genre - it's conventions, ideas and values. This is what your course is structured around it.

Above all, when discussing your texts, spend less time talking about how they conform and spend more on how they subvert the genre.
 

-pari-

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my sharona said:
These were my 2004 notes on Genre and Genre Theory.
Hope it helps someone.
yes. yes indeed it has.


thank yoouu very much!
 

splexington

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this stuff is good! I have my english extension half yearly tomorrow and all this theory stuff is great! thanks so much for your help. Although i wish I could contribute a little more :)
 

jazzmuzik

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arls said:
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?)

The opening replies to this entire thread... eg. the back and forth "debate" about what defines "genre".... highlights perfectly what it is this syllabus is trying to explore. :)
That is the ultimate question: "What is genre?"

The fact is there is no right or wrong answer, some ppl think
a) genre sets "boundaries" for texts while b) believes the texts create the boundaries. Either way it tends to be a catch 22 cycle, in the end :)

yay
 

boydc

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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?
the reason no text adhears to all conventions set by genre theory is because it is through pushing the boundaries that genre evolves. Texts were never mean to completely follow the conventions cause that would be boring. There must be change and subversion/omission of genre in order to create original and thought provoking works.
 

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