Genre In Literature Quotes

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There is only one genre in fiction, the genre is called book.
Matt Haig (The Humans)
When people dis fantasy—mainstream readers and SF readers alike—they are almost always talking about one sub-genre of fantastic literature. They are talking about Tolkien, and Tolkien's innumerable heirs. Call it 'epic', or 'high', or 'genre' fantasy, this is what fantasy has come to mean. Which is misleading as well as unfortunate. Tolkien is the wen on the arse of fantasy literature. His oeuvre is massive and contagious—you can't ignore it, so don't even try. The best you can do is consciously try to lance the boil. And there's a lot to dislike—his cod-Wagnerian pomposity, his boys-own-adventure glorying in war, his small-minded and reactionary love for hierarchical status-quos, his belief in absolute morality that blurs moral and political complexity. Tolkien's clichés—elves 'n' dwarfs 'n' magic rings—have spread like viruses. He wrote that the function of fantasy was 'consolation', thereby making it an article of policy that a fantasy writer should mollycoddle the reader. That is a revolting idea, and one, thankfully, that plenty of fantasists have ignored. From the Surrealists through the pulps—via Mervyn Peake and Mikhael Bulgakov and Stefan Grabiński and Bruno Schulz and Michael Moorcock and M. John Harrison and I could go on—the best writers have used the fantastic aesthetic precisely to challenge, to alienate, to subvert and undermine expectations. Of course I'm not saying that any fan of Tolkien is no friend of mine—that would cut my social circle considerably. Nor would I claim that it's impossible to write a good fantasy book with elves and dwarfs in it—Michael Swanwick's superb Iron Dragon's Daughter gives the lie to that. But given that the pleasure of fantasy is supposed to be in its limitless creativity, why not try to come up with some different themes, as well as unconventional monsters? Why not use fantasy to challenge social and aesthetic lies? Thankfully, the alternative tradition of fantasy has never died. And it's getting stronger. Chris Wooding, Michael Swanwick, Mary Gentle, Paul di Filippo, Jeff VanderMeer, and many others, are all producing works based on fantasy's radicalism. Where traditional fantasy has been rural and bucolic, this is often urban, and frequently brutal. Characters are more than cardboard cutouts, and they're not defined by race or sex. Things are gritty and tricky, just as in real life. This is fantasy not as comfort-food, but as challenge. The critic Gabe Chouinard has said that we're entering a new period, a renaissance in the creative radicalism of fantasy that hasn't been seen since the New Wave of the sixties and seventies, and in echo of which he has christened the Next Wave. I don't know if he's right, but I'm excited. This is a radical literature. It's the literature we most deserve.
China Miéville
I've been as bad an influence on American literature as anyone I can think of.
Dashiell Hammett
...[T]he only means I have to stop ignorant snobs from behaving towards genre fiction with snobbish ignorance is to not reinforce their ignorance and snobbery by lying and saying that when I write SF it isn't SF, but to tell them more or less patiently for forty or fifty years that they are wrong to exclude SF and fantasy from literature, and proving my arguments by writing well.
Ursula K. Le Guin (Wild Girls (PM's Outspoken Authors, #6))
The only genres I saw value in, which still conferred meaning, were diaries and essays, the types of literature that did not deal with narrative, that were not about anything, but just consisted of a voice, the voice of your own personality, a life, a face, a gaze you could meet. What is a work of art if not the gaze of another person? Not directed above us, nor beneath us, but at the same height as our own gaze. Art cannot be experienced collectively, nothing can, art is something you are alone with. You meet its gaze alone.
Karl Ove Knausgård (A Man in Love)
A gifted storyteller should be able to tell their stories in different genres, mediums, and platforms. The art of storytelling is the same since civilization began. Only the way of telling it has changed because of technology. - Kailin Gow on Storytelling
Kailin Gow
A lot of people still maintain genre prejudice. I still meet matrons who tell me kindly that their children enjoyed my books but of course they never read them, and people who make sure I know they don’t read that space-ship stuff. No, no, they read Literature—realism. Like The Help, or Fifty Shades of Grey.
Ursula K. Le Guin
The Cool Stuff Theory of Literature is as follows: All literature consists of whatever the writer thinks is cool. The reader will like the book to the degree that he agrees with the writer about what's cool. And that works all the way from the external trappings to the level of metaphor, subtext, and the way one uses words. In other words, I happen not to think that full-plate armor and great big honking greatswords are cool. I don't like 'em. I like cloaks and rapiers. So I write stories with a lot of cloaks and rapiers in 'em, 'cause that's cool. Guys who like military hardware, who think advanced military hardware is cool, are not gonna jump all over my books, because they have other ideas about what's cool. The novel should be understood as a structure built to accommodate the greatest possible amount of cool stuff.
Steven Brust
Science fiction used to be a dangerous literature. Now, it is a very commercial genre, and whatever dangers might still lurk within seem to have been safely sanitized for the marketplace. The real crime is that the lobotomy has been self performed. [David Gerrold - Afterword]
Harlan Ellison (The City on the Edge of Forever: The Original Teleplay)
Every book has to wait for the right time to be read and understood.
Kamand Kojouri
Think not of the fragility of life, but of the power of books, when mere words can change our lives simply by being next to each other.
Kamand Kojouri
I think genre rules should be porous, if not nonexistent.
Kazuo Ishiguro
O: You’re quite a writer. You’ve a gift for language, you’re a deft hand at plotting, and your books seem to have an enormous amount of attention to detail put into them. You’re so good you could write anything. Why write fantasy? Pratchett: I had a decent lunch, and I’m feeling quite amiable. That’s why you’re still alive. I think you’d have to explain to me why you’ve asked that question. O: It’s a rather ghettoized genre. P: This is true. I cannot speak for the US, where I merely sort of sell okay. But in the UK I think every book— I think I’ve done twenty in the series— since the fourth book, every one has been one the top ten national bestsellers, either as hardcover or paperback, and quite often as both. Twelve or thirteen have been number one. I’ve done six juveniles, all of those have nevertheless crossed over to the adult bestseller list. On one occasion I had the adult best seller, the paperback best-seller in a different title, and a third book on the juvenile bestseller list. Now tell me again that this is a ghettoized genre. O: It’s certainly regarded as less than serious fiction. P: (Sighs) Without a shadow of a doubt, the first fiction ever recounted was fantasy. Guys sitting around the campfire— Was it you who wrote the review? I thought I recognized it— Guys sitting around the campfire telling each other stories about the gods who made lightning, and stuff like that. They did not tell one another literary stories. They did not complain about difficulties of male menopause while being a junior lecturer on some midwestern college campus. Fantasy is without a shadow of a doubt the ur-literature, the spring from which all other literature has flown. Up to a few hundred years ago no one would have disagreed with this, because most stories were, in some sense, fantasy. Back in the middle ages, people wouldn’t have thought twice about bringing in Death as a character who would have a role to play in the story. Echoes of this can be seen in Pilgrim’s Progress, for example, which hark back to a much earlier type of storytelling. The epic of Gilgamesh is one of the earliest works of literature, and by the standard we would apply now— a big muscular guys with swords and certain godlike connections— That’s fantasy. The national literature of Finland, the Kalevala. Beowulf in England. I cannot pronounce Bahaghvad-Gita but the Indian one, you know what I mean. The national literature, the one that underpins everything else, is by the standards that we apply now, a work of fantasy. Now I don’t know what you’d consider the national literature of America, but if the words Moby Dick are inching their way towards this conversation, whatever else it was, it was also a work of fantasy. Fantasy is kind of a plasma in which other things can be carried. I don’t think this is a ghetto. This is, fantasy is, almost a sea in which other genres swim. Now it may be that there has developed in the last couple of hundred years a subset of fantasy which merely uses a different icongraphy, and that is, if you like, the serious literature, the Booker Prize contender. Fantasy can be serious literature. Fantasy has often been serious literature. You have to fairly dense to think that Gulliver’s Travels is only a story about a guy having a real fun time among big people and little people and horses and stuff like that. What the book was about was something else. Fantasy can carry quite a serious burden, and so can humor. So what you’re saying is, strip away the trolls and the dwarves and things and put everyone into modern dress, get them to agonize a bit, mention Virginia Woolf a few times, and there! Hey! I’ve got a serious novel. But you don’t actually have to do that. (Pauses) That was a bloody good answer, though I say it myself.
Terry Pratchett
She might not have read many books. But when she reads a book, she swallows the very words. If you open the books on her shelves, you will find that the front and back covers encase white pages.
Kamand Kojouri
Science fiction is a literature of possibilities.
Liu Cixin (Invisible Planets: Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction in Translation)
Fiction has two uses. Firstly, it’s a gateway drug to reading. The drive to know what happens next, to want to turn the page, the need to keep going, even if it’s hard, because someone’s in trouble and you have to know how it’s all going to end … that’s a very real drive. And it forces you to learn new words, to think new thoughts, to keep going. To discover that reading per se is pleasurable. Once you learn that, you’re on the road to reading everything. And reading is key. There were noises made briefly, a few years ago, about the idea that we were living in a post-literate world, in which the ability to make sense out of written words was somehow redundant, but those days are gone: words are more important than they ever were: we navigate the world with words, and as the world slips onto the web, we need to follow, to communicate and to comprehend what we are reading. People who cannot understand each other cannot exchange ideas, cannot communicate, and translation programs only go so far. The simplest way to make sure that we raise literate children is to teach them to read, and to show them that reading is a pleasurable activity. And that means, at its simplest, finding books that they enjoy, giving them access to those books, and letting them read them. I don’t think there is such a thing as a bad book for children. Every now and again it becomes fashionable among some adults to point at a subset of children’s books, a genre, perhaps, or an author, and to declare them bad books, books that children should be stopped from reading. I’ve seen it happen over and over; Enid Blyton was declared a bad author, so was RL Stine, so were dozens of others. Comics have been decried as fostering illiteracy. It’s tosh. It’s snobbery and it’s foolishness. There are no bad authors for children, that children like and want to read and seek out, because every child is different. They can find the stories they need to, and they bring themselves to stories. A hackneyed, worn-out idea isn’t hackneyed and worn out to them. This is the first time the child has encountered it. Do not discourage children from reading because you feel they are reading the wrong thing. Fiction you do not like is a route to other books you may prefer. And not everyone has the same taste as you. Well-meaning adults can easily destroy a child’s love of reading: stop them reading what they enjoy, or give them worthy-but-dull books that you like, the 21st-century equivalents of Victorian “improving” literature. You’ll wind up with a generation convinced that reading is uncool and worse, unpleasant. We need our children to get onto the reading ladder: anything that they enjoy reading will move them up, rung by rung, into literacy. [from, Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming]
Neil Gaiman
The one young officer swung his horse around, came back, and leaned over into Penthe's face. She did not look at him. "Are you free, Miss?" "I am free. Free from everyone, but my lover. He has stolen my heart and soul forever.
Mark Morneweg (Penthe & Alphonse)
If there is one genre of literature in which architecture indisputably plays a leading role, it is the gothic novel.
Christoph Grafe (OASE 70: Architecture and Literature)
Cinema – all art really – has great power. Power to illuminate. Power to transform. For those of us who experience film as literature, classic movies comprised an introductory education in the genre. As kids, many of us went searching through library shelves for obscure source novels after seeing some old movie or other. It was the start of many an adventure.
Robert Dunbar (Vortex)
...the materials of genre - specifically the paired genres of horror and the fantastic - in no way require the constrictions of formulaic treatment, and in fact naturally extend and evolve into the methods and concerns of its wider context, general literature.
Peter Straub (Poe's Children: The New Horror)
All fiction, whether straight or genre, whether literature or Literature, is a personal reinterpretation of its writers’ existence during the time the fiction was written.
William Gibson (Neuromancer (Sprawl, #1))
Psychic change, as Todorov has recognized, subverted the genre in another way, by revoking the cultural taboos, the social censorship, that had prohibited the overt treatment of psychosexual themes, which then found covert expression in the supernatural tale. 'There is no need today to resort to the devil [or to posthumous reverie] in order to speak of excessive sexual desire, and none to resort to vampires in order to designate the attraction exerted by corpses: psychoanalysis, and the literature which is directly or indirectly inspired by it, deal with these matters in undisguised terms. The themes of fantastic literature have become, literally, the very themes of the psychological investigations of the last fifty years.
Howard Kerr (The Haunted dusk: American supernatural fiction, 1820-1920)
there was a sort of embarrassment about storytelling that struck home powerfully about one hundred years ago, at the beginning of modernism. We see a similar reaction in painting and in music. It's a preoccupation suddenly with the surface rather than the depth. So you get, for example, Picasso and Braque making all kinds of experiments with the actual surface of the painting. That becomes the interesting thing, much more interesting than the thing depicted, which is just an old newspaper, a glass of wine, something like that. In music, the Second Viennese School becomes very interested in what happens when the surface, the diatonic structure of the keys breaks down, and we look at the notes themselves in a sort of tone row, instead of concentrating on things like tunes, which are sort of further in, if you like. That happened, of course, in literature, too, with such great works as James Joyce's Ulysses, which is all about, really, how it's told. Not so much about what happens, which is a pretty banal event in a banal man's life. It's about how it's told. The surface suddenly became passionately interesting to artists in every field about a hundred years ago. In the field of literature, story retreated. The books we talked about just now, Middlemarch, Bleak House, Vanity Fair -- their authors were the great storytellers as well as the great artists. After modernism, things changed. Indeed, modernism sometimes seems to me like an equivalent of the Fall. Remember, the first thing Adam and Eve did when they ate the fruit was to discover that they had no clothes on. They were embarrassed. Embarrassment was the first consequence of the Fall. And embarrassment was the first literary consequence of this modernist discovery of the surface. "Am I telling a story? Oh my God, this is terrible. I must stop telling a story and focus on the minute gradations of consciousness as they filter through somebody's..." So there was a great split that took place. Story retreated, as it were, into genre fiction-into crime fiction, into science fiction, into romantic fiction-whereas the high-art literary people went another way. Children's books held onto the story, because children are rarely interested in surfaces in that sort of way. They're interested in what-happened and what-happened next. I found it a great discipline, when I was writing The Golden Compass and other books, to think that there were some children in the audience. I put it like that because I don't say I write for children. I find it hard to understand how some writers can say with great confidence, "Oh, I write for fourth grade children" or "I write for boys of 12 or 13." How do they know? I don't know. I would rather consider myself in the rather romantic position of the old storyteller in the marketplace: you sit down on your little bit of carpet with your hat upturned in front of you, and you start to tell a story. Your interest really is not in excluding people and saying to some of them, "No, you can't come, because it's just for so-and-so." My interest as a storyteller is to have as big an audience as possible. That will include children, I hope, and it will include adults, I hope. If dogs and horses want to stop and listen, they're welcome as well.
Philip Pullman
Literary works are pieces of rhetoric as well as reports. They demand a peculiarly vigilant kind of reading, one which is alert to tone, mood, pace, genre, syntax, grammar, texture, rhythm, narrative structure, punctuation, ambiguity – in fact to everything that comes under the heading of ‘form’.
Terry Eagleton (How to Read Literature)
The uncanny is not a literary genre. But nor is it a non-literary genre. It overflows the very institution of literature. It inhabits, haunts, parasitizes the allegedly non-literary. It makes 'genre' blink.
Nicholas Royle
Love hurts. Think back over romance novels you’ve loved or the genre-defining books that drive our industry. The most unforgettable stories and characters spring from crushing opposition. What we remember about romance novels is the darkness that drives them. Three hundred pages of folks being happy together makes for a hefty sleeping pill, but three hundred pages of a couple finding a way to be happy in the face of impossible odds makes our hearts soar. In darkness, we are all alone. So don’t just make love, make anguish for your characters. As you structure a story, don’t satisfy your hero’s desires, thwart them. Make sure your solutions create new problems. Nurture your characters doubts and despair. Make them earn the happy ending they want, even better…make them deserve it. Delay and disappointment charge situations and validate character growth. Misery accompanies love. It’s no accident that many of the stories we think of as timeless romances in Western Literature are fiercely tragic: Romeo and Juliet, Tristan and Isolde, Cupid and Psyche… the pain in them drags us back again and again, hoping that this time we’ll find a way out of the dark. Only if you let your characters get lost will we get lost in them. And that, more than anything else, is what romance can and should do for its protagonists and its readers: lead us through the labyrinth, skirt the monstrous despair roaming its halls, and find our way into daylight.
Damon Suede
Nevertheless, the potential and actual importance of fantastic literature lies in such psychic links: what appears to be the result of an overweening imagination, boldly and arbitrarily defying the laws of time, space and ordered causality, is closely connected with, and structured by, the categories of the subconscious, the inner impulses of man's nature. At first glance the scope of fantastic literature, free as it is from the restrictions of natural law, appears to be unlimited. A closer look, however, will show that a few dominant themes and motifs constantly recur: deals with the Devil; returns from the grave for revenge or atonement; invisible creatures; vampires; werewolves; golems; animated puppets or automatons; witchcraft and sorcery; human organs operating as separate entities, and so on. Fantastic literature is a kind of fiction that always leads us back to ourselves, however exotic the presentation; and the objects and events, however bizarre they seem, are simply externalizations of inner psychic states. This may often be mere mummery, but on occasion it seems to touch the heart in its inmost depths and become great literature.
Franz Rottensteiner (The Fantasy Book: An Illustrated History From Dracula To Tolkien)
For me, where genre ends and literature begins doesn’t matter. What matters is whether a given novel hits me with high impact. If it does, it probably is fulfilling the purpose of fiction. It has drawn me into a story world, held me captive, taken me on a journey with characters like none I’ve ever met, revealed truths I’ve somehow always known and insights that rock my brain. It’s filled me with awe, which is to say it’s made me see the familiar in a wholly new way and made the unfamiliar a foundational part of me. It both entertains and matters. It both captures our age and becomes timelessly great. It does all that with the sturdy tools of story and the flair of narrative art.
Donald Maass (Writing 21st Century Fiction: High Impact Techniques for Exceptional Storytelling)
Angela Carter...refused to join in rejecting or denouncing fairy tales, but instead embraced the whole stigmatized genre, its stock characters and well-known plots, and with wonderful verve and invention, perverse grace and wicked fun, soaked them in a new fiery liquor that brought them leaping back to life. From her childhood, through her English degree at the University of Bristol where she specialised in Medieval Literature, and her experiences as a young woman on the folk-music circuit in the West Country, Angela Carter was steeped in English and Celtic faerie, in romances of chivalry and the grail, Chaucerian storytelling and Spenserian allegory, and she was to become fairy tale’s rescuer, the form’s own knight errant, who seized hold of it in its moribund state and plunged it into the fontaine de jouvence itself. (from "Chamber of Secrets: The Sorcery of Angela Carter")
Marina Warner
This absence of literary culture is actually a marker of future blindness because it is usually accompanied by a denigration of history, a byproduct of unconditional neomania. Outside of the niche and isolated genre of science fiction, literature is about the past. We do not learn physics or biology from medieval textbooks, but we still read Homer, Plato, or the very modern Shakespeare.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder)
with some exceptions in science fiction and other genres I have small difficulty in avoiding anything that could be called American literature. I feel it is unnatural, not I think entirely because it uses a language that is not mine, however closely akin to my own.
Kingsley Amis (The King's English: A Guide to Modern Usage)
We sometimes hear of the death of literature or of this or that genre, but literature doesn't die, just as it doesn't 'progress' or 'decay.' It expands, it increases. When we feel that it has become stagnant or stale, that usually just means we ourselves are not paying sufficient attention.
Thomas C. Foster (How to Read Literature Like a Professor)
literature composed by women was stored not in books but in female bodies, living repositories of poetry and song. I have come across a line of argument in my reading, which posits that, due to the inherent fallibility of memory and the imperfect human vessels that held it, the Caoineadh cannot be considered a work of single authorship. Rather, the theory goes, it must be considered collage, or, perhaps, a folky reworking of older keens. This, to me --- in the brazen audacity of one positioned far from the tall walls of the university --- feels like a male assertion pressed upon a female text. After all, the etymology of the word ‘text’ lies in the Latin verby ‘texere’: to weave, to fuse, to braid. The Caoineadh form belongs to a literary genre worked and woven by women, entwining strands of female voices that were carried in female bodies, a phenomenon that seems to me cause for wonder and admiration, rather than suspicion of authorship.
Doireann Ní Ghríofa (A Ghost in the Throat)
Isaac Bashevis Singer, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature, wrote across many genres, including children’s books. In an essay called “Why I Write for Children,” he explained the appeal. “Children read books, not reviews,” he wrote. “They don’t give a hoot about the critics.” And: “When a book is boring, they yawn openly, without any shame or fear of authority.” Best of all—and to the relief of authors everywhere—children “don’t expect their beloved writer to redeem humanity.
Steven D. Levitt (Think Like a Freak)
I do think that our perception of reality is fragmentary, and in 20th-century literature, it’s totally normal to not describe reality as something whole and completely transportable and explicable. That’s been accepted in novels. But genre films always pretend that reality is transportable, which means that it is explicable.
Michael Haneke
I would agree that encyclopedia’s could teach me facts, but only a great story could transport me into the mind of another person. These stories taught me about empathy, about good and evil, about love and sorrow. My tastes covered many different genres, but the books I loved most proposed the idea that ordinary people (not to mention hobbits) are born with the capability to do extraordinary, even heroic things. The realization came as a sort of code to all the lessons my parents had taught me about looking beyond wealth and appearances, and appreciating the worth of everyone I met. It’s a lesson that sticks with me to this day. No real leader can see the people around them as static creatures. If you cannot see the potential I the people around you, it’s impossible to rouse them to great things. That may be one of the reasons why, even now, I always make time for a novel or two every month, amongst the mountains of serious works and briefing notes. Facts may fuel a leader’s intellect. But literature fuels the soul.
Justin Trudeau (Common Ground)
I’ve read science fiction and fantasy all my life – though when you’re a child, they just call that “books.” The first book I ever read on my own was The Neverending Story. I studied classics at university, and in ancient literature, monsters, witches, magic, curses, and impossible machines aren’t genre, they’re just Tuesday afternoon. I had no idea that I was writing fantasy at first, because I was so saturated in Greek literature that it never occurred to me that my talking animals and sentient mazes were anything but realism. Our instinct toward folklore and magical stories, parables and imagining the future, are as much a part of the human experiences as divorce, grief, falling in love, politics, or raising children. I’ve always read fantastic literature, because it’s always seemed truest to me. It makes the metaphorical literal and is all the more powerful for that immediacy and directness. I love genre fiction for the infinite expanse of stories it can tell – and it’s been my constant companion since I was a very small child.
Catherynne M. Valente
Today, fantasy is, for better or for worse, just another genre, a place in a bookshop to find books that, too often, remind one of far too many other books; it is an irony, and not entirely a pleasant one, that what should be, by definition, the most imaginative of all types of literature has become so staid, and, too often, downright unimaginative.
Neil Gaiman
Not writing is never an option. This is not words of advice. It's just literally never an option!
Lillian R. Melendez
But the point is this: stories grow out of other stories, poems out of other poems. And they don’t have to stick to genre. Poems can learn from plays, songs from novels.
Thomas C. Foster (How to Read Literature Like a Professor Revised: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines)
Organizing the books was a fun afternoon. We decided to put the thick hardback books, mostly intro. to philosophy textbooks and Norton literature anthologies, on the top shelves where they looked good but stayed out of reach since there's no reason for opening them ever again. Then we went by genre: mysteries, cozies, modernists, mountains, sci-fi, beloved childhood volumes, books we bought abroad, books required in school we couldn't sell back, books bought for us we'll read soon, books bought for us we have no intention of reading, books we want to read but are too long for a commitment with our current schedules...We're not really done with this organization, and I doubt we ever will be, but that's one great part about it.
Joshua Isard (Conquistador of the Useless)
The Booker thing was a catalyst for me in a bizarre way. It’s perceived as an accolade to be published as a ‘literary’ writer, but, actually, it’s pompous and it’s fake. Literary fiction is often nothing more than a genre in itself. I’d always read omnivorously and often thought much literary fiction is read by young men and women in their 20s, as substitutes for experience.
Neil Cross
Smash market vs. mass market: Indie authors delve deep into expressive vertical genres. Book stores hold 90-day-credit-return literature. Why wait? In five years, Indie authors will be both.
Peter Prasad
Science fiction is a literature that belongs to all humankind. It portrays events of interest to all of humanity, and thus science fiction should be the literary genre most accessible to readers of different nations. Science fiction often describes a day when humanity will form a harmonious whole, and I believe the arrival of such a day need not wait for the appearance of extraterrestrials.
Liu Cixin (The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth’s Past, #1))
Flaubert teaches you to gave upon the truth and not blink from its consequences; he teaches you, with Montaigne, to sleep on the pillow of doubt; he teaches you to dissect out the constituent parts of reality, and to observe the Nature is always a mixture of genres; he teaches you the most exact use of language; he teaches you not to approach a book in search of moral or social pills -- literature is not a pharmacopoeia; he teaches the pre-eminence of Truth, Beauty, Feeling and Style. And if you study his private life, he teaches courage, stoicism, friendship; the importance of intelligence, skepticism and wit; the folly of cheap patriotism; the virtue of being able to remain by yourself in your own room; the hatred of hypocrisy; distrust of the doctrinaire; the need for plain speaking.
Julian Barnes (Flaubert's Parrot)
[SF] was a commercial genre born in the old adventure pulp magazines of the first third of the twentieth century, aimed primarily at adolescent males, which, over the decades, in fits and starts, evolved into an intellectually credible, scientifically germane, transcendental literature without losing its popular base. Of what other literature in the history of the western world can this truly be said?
Norman Spinrad
The great impact of Hellenistic culture was, however, no in natural science, but in the more Plato-inspired imaginative literature. The modern novel has its origins in the ultra-heroic and fantastic literature of the Hellenistic world intellectually centered in Alexandria. The life of Alexander the Great was itself one of the prime genres of Hellenistic romanticized literature, and remained so into the sixteenth century.
Norman F. Cantor (Antiquity: The Civilization of the Ancient World)
At this point, a few words on this term 'horror' are perhaps called for. Some amateurs of this kind of literature engage in endless hairsplitting disputes, centered around this word and its close companion 'terror', as to which' stories may so be categorized and which may not, and whether or not descriptions such as weird or fantasy or macabre are preferable. The designation 'horror', with its connotations of revulsion, satisfies me no more than it does the purists but I believe that it is the only term which embraces all the stories in this collection and which succinctly suggests to the majority of readers what is in store for them. Horror then, in this instance, covers tales of the Supernatural and of physical terror, of ghosts and necromancy and of inhuman violence and all the dark corners and crevices of human belief and behavior that lie in between. ("An Age In Horror" - introduction)
Michel Parry (Reign of Terror: Great Victorian Horror Stories)
Fantastic literature has been especially prominent in times of unrest, when the older values have been overthrown to make way for the new; it has often accompanied or predicted change, and served to shake up rational Complacency, challenging reason and reminding man of his darker nature. Its popularity has had its ups and downs, and it has always been the preserve of a small literary minority. As a natural challenger of classical values, it is rarely part of a culture's literary mainstream, expressing the spirit of the age; but it is an important dissenting voice, a reminder of the vast mysteries of existence, sometimes truly metaphysical in scope, but more often merely riddling.
Franz Rottensteiner (The Fantasy Book: An Illustrated History From Dracula To Tolkien)
The fantastic in literature doesn't exist as a challenge to what is probable, but only there where it can be increased to a challenge of reason itself: the fantastic in literature consists, when all has been said, essentially in showing the world as opaque, as inaccessible to reason on principle. This happens when Piranesi in his imagined prisons depicts a world peopled by other beings than those for which it was created. ("On the Fantastic in Literature")
Lars Gustafsson
What we've done is make the categories of science fiction and fantasy larger, freer, and more inclusive than any other genre of contemporary literature. We have room for everybody, and we are extraordinarily open to genuine experimentation.
Orson Scott Card (How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy)
For so long considered a second-rate category to other writing genres, Science Fiction should be allotted its true place in literature. The reason Science Fiction is so important is because SF authors create the future. They bring through ideas, technology, and new thought, put it all down in written and spoken word, and then send it out into mass consciousness. When enough people (a critical mass) think about and truly consider the plausibility of a concept, it becomes reality. Think William Gibson, who in 1982's "Burning Chrome" coined "cyberspace". Few grasped the concept at the time, but as the internet took hold in the 1990's, we not only had a word to describe our experience, we had a definition and an understanding, as well. Coincidence?
Joseph Duda
Thus, while not all Scripture is generically narrative, it can reasonably be claimed that the story Scripture tells, from creation to new creation, is the unifying element that holds literature of other genres together with narrative in an intelligible whole.
Ellen F. Davis (The Art of Reading Scripture)
American literature has, since the time of the Puritans, featured the jeremiad as a prolonged complaint, a prophet's indictment of his society characteristic of work such as the muckrakers' novels or Allan Ginsberg's “Howl.” Doctorow struggles to accommodate this form to his artistry (as successful practitioners of the work have always done). To this end, he has repeatedly adapted genres such as the Western, the romance, and the detective novel, often playing with accepted conventions, and thus avoiding didacticism.
Michelle M. Tokarczyk (E. L. Doctorow’s Skeptical Commitment (Twentieth-Century American Jewish Writers))
We should bear in mind the supercrip stereotype as a figure obsessively, indeed maniacally, over-compensating for a perceived physical difference or lack, since, as we shall see, this aspect ties in quite neatly with the genre specificities and narratival concerns of so much Silver Age superhero literature.
José Alaniz (Death, Disability, and the Superhero: The Silver Age and Beyond)
We have so politicized literature today, pigeonholing people into gay male fiction, lesbian fiction, transgender fiction and then other sub-genres within those. There seems to be a feeling like authors should stay in their own box and not write about anybody else, but the thing is, as a writer, you're constantly writing about things that you yourself haven't personally experienced. We should all be free to write about each other as human beings. Some gay men love reading lesbian novels, some straight women love gay male romance, and that richness of reaching across the boundaries helps us further our understanding of each other.
Patricia Nell Warren
The type of mind that can understand good fiction is not necessarily the educated mind, but it is at all times the kind of mind that is willing to have its sense of mystery deepened by contact with reality, and its sense of reality depend by contact with mystery. Fiction should be both canny and uncanny. In a good deal of popular criticism, there is the notion operating that all fiction has to be about the Average Man, and has to depict average ordinary everyday life, that every fiction writer must produce what used to be called "a slice of life." But if life, in that sense, satisfied us, there would be no sense in producing literature at all.
Flannery O'Connor (Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose (FSG Classics))
The fine and varied literature that I read was almost all in translation: from classic works by Jack London, Victor Hugo and Charles Dickens, to detective stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie and Georges Simenon, not to mention fascinating pornographic books. I also appreciated the biblical stories that contained all three genres.
Shlomo Sand (La fin de l'intellectuel français ?)
CREATED by an eighteen-year-old girl during the freakishly cold, rainy summer of 1816 while on holiday in Switzerland with her married lover, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and two other writers, the poet Lord Byron and John Polidori, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein would become the foundational work for two important new genres of literature—horror and science fiction.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Frankenstein)
—which is to say I’ve had the opportunity to speak with a great many people about postapocalyptic literature. I’ve heard a great many theories about why there’s such interest in the genre. One person suggested to me that it had to do with economic inequality, that in a world that can seem fundamentally unfair, perhaps we long to just blow everything up and start over—
Emily St. John Mandel (Sea of Tranquility)
Thrillers, like all genre fiction, remain for the most part “beneath.” There is a feeling in literature, more than any other art form, that books meant to simply entertain must be flawed. There is an entire cache of what critics call “beach reads,” books that are disposable, forgettable, anti-literary. And this is where I have changed the most as a reader and also as a writer. As I began to dig in to a lot of thrillers, I came to believe that entertainment and reading for pleasure can be transcendent; that while art might be a hammer it is also a mirror, changeable and subjective. And there is a point where the boundary of the thriller genre rubs hard against a much more vast literary tradition. A lot of great writers exist on this axis.
Will Lavender
He began as a minor imitator of Fitzgerald, wrote a novel in the late twenties which won a prize, became dissatisfied with his work, stopped writing for a period of years. When he came back it was to BLACK MASK and the other detective magazines with a curious and terrible fiction which had never been seen before in the genre markets; Hart Crane and certainly Hemingway were writing of people on the edge of their emotions and their possibility but the genre mystery markets were filled with characters whose pain was circumstantial, whose resolution was through action; Woolrich's gallery was of those so damaged that their lives could only be seen as vast anticlimax to central and terrible events which had occurred long before the incidents of the story. Hammett and his great disciple, Chandler, had verged toward this more than a little, there is no minimizing the depth of their contribution to the mystery and to literature but Hammett and Chandler were still working within the devices of their category: detectives confronted problems and solved (or more commonly failed to solve) them, evil was generalized but had at least specific manifestations: Woolrich went far out on the edge. His characters killed, were killed, witnessed murder, attempted to solve it but the events were peripheral to the central circumstances. What I am trying to say, perhaps, is that Hammett and Chandler wrote of death but the novels and short stories of Woolrich *were* death. In all of its delicacy and grace, its fragile beauty as well as its finality. Most of his plots made no objective sense. Woolrich was writing at the cutting edge of his time. Twenty years later his vision would attract a Truffaut whose own influences had been the philosophy of Sartre, the French nouvelle vague, the central conception that nothing really mattered. At all. But the suffering. Ah, that mattered; that mattered quite a bit.
Barry N. Malzberg (The Fantastic Stories of Cornell Woolrich (Alternatives SF Series))
One night I begged Robin, a scientist by training, to watch Arthur Miller's 'Death of a Salesman' with me on PBS. He lasted about one act, then turned to me in horror: 'This is how you spend your days? Thinking about things like this?' I was ashamed. I could have been learning about string theory or how flowers pollinate themselves. I think his remark was the beginning of my crisis of faith. Like so many of my generation in graduate school, I had turned to literature as a kind of substitute for formal religion, which no longer fed my soul, or for therapy, which I could not afford.... I became interested in exploring the theory of nonfiction and in writing memoir, a genre that gives us access to that lost Middlemarch of reflection and social commentary.
Mary Rose O'Reilley (The Barn at the End of the World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd)
Science fiction is a literature that belongs to all humankind. It portrays events of interest to all of humanity, and thus science fiction should be the literary genre most accessible to readers of different nations. Science fiction often describes a day when humanity will form a harmonious whole, and I believe the arrival of such a day need not wait for the appearance of extraterrestrials. I
Liu Cixin (The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth’s Past, #1))
Degas, more than any other Realist, looked upon the photograph not merely as a means of documentation, but rather as an inspiration: it evoked the spirit of his own imagery of the spontaneous, the fragmentary and the immediate. Thus, in a certain sense, critics of Realism were quite correct to equate the objective, detached, scientific mode of photography, and its emphasis on the descriptive rather than the imaginative or evaluative, with the basic qualities of Realism itself. As Paul Valéry pointed out in an important though little known article: ‘the moment that photography appeared, the descriptive genre began to invade Letters. In verse as in prose, the décor and the exterior aspects of life took an almost excessive place.… With photography… realism pronounces itself in our Literature’ and, he might have said, in our art as well.
Linda Nochlin (Realism: (Style and Civilization) (Style & Civilization))
A writer sets out to write science fiction but isn’t familiar with the genre, hasn’t read what’s been written. This is a fairly common situation, because science fiction is known to sell well but, as a subliterary genre, is not supposed to be worth study—what’s to learn? It doesn’t occur to the novice that a genre is a genre because it has a field and focus of its own; its appropriate and particular tools, rules, and techniques for handling the material; its traditions; and its experienced, appreciative readers—that it is, in fact, a literature. Ignoring all this, our novice is just about to reinvent the wheel, the space ship, the space alien, and the mad scientist, with cries of innocent wonder. The cries will not be echoed by the readers. Readers familiar with that genre have met the space ship, the alien, and the mad scientist before. They know more about them than the writer does. In the same way, critics who set out to talk about a fantasy novel without having read any fantasy since they were eight, and in ignorance of the history and extensive theory of fantasy literature, will make fools of themselves because they don’t know how to read the book. They have no contextual information to tell them what its tradition is, where it’s coming from, what it’s trying to do, what it does. This was liberally proved when the first Harry Potter book came out and a lot of literary reviewers ran around shrieking about the incredible originality of the book. This originality was an artifact of the reviewers’ blank ignorance of its genres (children’s fantasy and the British boarding-school story), plus the fact that they hadn’t read a fantasy since they were eight. It was pitiful. It was like watching some TV gourmet chef eat a piece of buttered toast and squeal, “But this is delicious! Unheard of! Where has it been all my life?
Ursula K. Le Guin
Over recent years I had increasingly lost faith in literature. I read and thought this is something someone has made up. Perhaps it was because we were totally inundated with fiction and stories... All these millions of paperbacks, hardbacks, DVDs and TV series, they were all about made-up people in a made-up, though realistic, world. And news in the press, TV news and radio news had exactly the same format, documentaries had the same format, they were also stories, and it made no difference whether what they told had actually happened or not... Fictional writing has no value, documentary narrative has no value. The only genres I saw value in, which still conferred meaning, were diaries and essays, the types of literature that did not deal with narrative, that were not about anything, but just consisted of a voice, the voice of your own personality, a life, a face, a gaze you could meet. What is a work of art if not the gaze of another person?
Karl Ove Knausgård
The detective embodies, even more than the romantic drifter, rationality; this intriguing and apparent dichotomy pertains to a significant part of Bengali children’s literature as well – that ofen, especially in the proliferation of adventure, spy and mystery genres in Bengali in the first half of the twentieth century, children’s literature is not so much an escape from the humanist logos of ‘high’ literary practice, but a coming to its irreducible possibilities from a different direction.
Amit Chaudhuri (Clearing a Space: Reflections on India, Literature and Culture (Peter Lang Ltd.))
Literature is the extant body of written art. All novels belong to it. The value judgement concealed in distinguishing one novel as literature and another as genre vanishes with the distinction. Every readable novel can give true pleasure. Every novel read by choice is read because it gives true pleasure. Literature consists of many genres, including mystery, science fiction, fantasy, naturalism, realism, magical realism, graphic, erotic, experimental, psychological, social, political, historical, bildungsroman, romance, western, army life, young adult, thriller, etc., etc…. and the proliferating cross-species and subgenres such as erotic Regency, noir police procedural, or historical thriller with zombies. Some of these categories are descriptive, some are maintained largely as marketing devices. Some are old, some new, some ephemeral. Genres exist, forms and types and kinds of fiction exist and need to be understood: but no genre is inherently, categorically superior or inferior. (Hypothesis on Literature vs. Genre)
Ursula K. Le Guin
The people who ship writing/difficulty and writing/revolution don’t talk to the people who ship writing/entertainment or writing/romance. The writing/money shippers have an uneasy détente with the writing/literature folks in the prose fandom, but almost none of them talk to the poetry people because how could you even? The writing/YA folks have a strong community or are cliquish, depending on who you ask, and everyone knows not to invite the writing/genre people to the same party as writing/literary folks because it just ends up in a shouting match.
Anne Jamison (Fic: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over the World)
Реализм: Заяц бежит быстрее Черепахи. Намного быстрее. И еще он сообразительней. Поэтому он побеждает. Рано или поздно. ОК? Сентиментальный романтизм: Самодовольный заяц прикорнул у обочины, а нравственно устойчивая Черепаха ковыляет к финишу. Сюрреализм (или рекламный ролик): Черепаха, снабженная роликовыми коньками и аккуратным рюкзачком из черной кожи, в солнцезащитных очках, легко мчит вперед, а оставленный позади зайчишка кусает себя за хвост. Из частной переписки: Милый Пушистик, припусти вперед и дождись меня у изгороди. Я буду на месте как только мне удастся уйти от них. Не может быть, чтобы они гнались за нами. Всегда твоя, Шелли. Детская сказка новейшего времени (написана экс-хиппи): Заяц и Черепаха, разочаровавшись в социальных и политических структурах, которые разжигают в обществе дух соперничества, покидают трассу и мирно доживают свои дни в убогой юрте, отказываясь давать интервью. Лимерик: Жила была черепашка Стью\ Простая как ду-би-ду\ Любила покой и уют\ и как-то свалилась в суп. Пост-модернизм: Я, автор, написал эту книгу. Это чистый конструкт. Заяц и Черепаха на самом деле не существуют, надеюсь вы это понимаете?
Julian Barnes (Love, etc.)
The wu in wuxia means both “to cut” and “to stop.” It also refers to the weapon—usually a sword—carried by the assassin, the hero of the story. The genre became very popular during the Song Dynasty [960–1279]. These stories often depicted a soldier in revolt, usually against a corrupt political leader. In order to stop corruption and the killing of innocent people, the hero must become an assassin. So wuxia stories are concerned with the premise of ending violence with violence. Although their actions are motivated by political reasons, the hero’s journey is epic and transformative—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. In the Tang Dynasty, a prominent poet named Li Bai wrote some verses about an assassin. This is the earliest example I know of wuxia literature. Gradually, the genre gave shape to ideas and stories that had been percolating in historical and mythological spheres. Although these stories were often inspired by real events of the past, to me they feel very contemporary and relevant. It’s one of the oldest genres in Chinese literature, and there are countless wuxia novels today. I began to immerse myself in these novels when I was in elementary school, and they quickly became my favorite things to read. I started with newer books and worked my way back to the earliest writing from the Tang Dynasty.
Hou Hsiao-hsien
Literature before the Renaissance had frequently offered ideal patterns for living which were dominated by the ethos of the church, but after the Reformation the search for individual expression and meaning took over. Institutions were questioned and re-evaluated, often while being praised at the same time. But where there had been conventional modes of expression, reflecting ideal modes of behaviour - religious, heroic, or social - Renaissance writing explored the geography of the human soul, redefining its relationship with authority, history, science, and the future. This involved experimentation with form and genre, and an enormous variety of linguistic and literary innovations in a short period of time. Reason, rather than religion, was the driving force in this search for rules to govern human behaviour in the Renaissance world. The power and mystique of religion had been overthrown in one bold stroke: where the marvellous no longer holds sway, real life has to provide explanations. Man, and the use he makes of his powers, capabilities, and free will, is thus the subject matter of Renaissance literature, from the early sonnets modelled on Petrarch to the English epic which closes the period, Paradise Lost, published after the Restoration, when the Renaissance had long finished. The Reformation gave cultural, philosophical, and ideological impetus to English Renaissance writing. The writers in the century following the Reformation had to explore and redefine all the concerns of humanity. In a world where old assumptions were no longer valid, where scientific discoveries questioned age-old hypotheses, and where man rather than God was the central interest, it was the writers who reflected and attempted to respond to the disintegration of former certainties. For it is when the universe is out of control that it is at its most frightening - and its most stimulating. There would never again be such an atmosphere of creative tension in the country. What was created was a language, a literature, and a national and international identity.
Ronald Carter (The Routledge History of Literature in English: Britain and Ireland)
Life was transparent, literature opaque. Life was open, literature a closed system. Life was composed of things, literature of words. Life was what it appeared to be: if you were afraid your plane would crash it was about death, if you were trying to get a girl into bed it was about sex. Literature was never about what it appeared to be about, though in the case of the novel cosiderable ingenuity and perception were needed to crack the code of realistic illusion, which was why he had been professionally attracted to the genre (even the dumbest critic understood that Hamlet wasn't about how the guy wanted to kill his uncle, or the Ancient Mariner about cruelty to animals, but it was surprising how many people thought Jane Austen's novels were about finding Mr Right).
David Lodge (Changing Places (The Campus Trilogy, #1))
People often seem surprised that I choose to write science fiction and fantasy—I think they expect a history professor to write historical fiction, or literary fiction, associating academia with the kinds of novels that academic lit critics prefer. But I feel that speculative fiction, especially science fiction and fantasy, is a lot more like the pre-modern literature I spend most of my time studying than most modern literature is. Ursula Le Guin has described speculative fiction authors as “realists of a larger reality” because we imagine other ways of being, alternatives to how people live now, different worlds, and raise questions about hope and change and possibilities that different worlds contain. .... Writing for a more distant audience, authors tended to be speculative, using exotic perspectives, fantastic creatures, imaginary lands, allegories, prophecies, stories within stories, techniques which, like science fiction and fantasy, use alternatives rather than one reality in order to ask questions, not about the way things are, but about plural ways things have been and could be. Such works have an empathy across time, expecting and welcoming an audience as alien as the other worlds that they describe. When I read Voltaire responding to Francis Bacon, responding to Petrarch, responding to Boethius, responding to Seneca, responding to Plutarch, I want to respond to them too, to pass it on. So it makes sense to me to answer in the genre people have been using for this conversation since antiquity: speculation. It’s the genre of many worlds, the many worlds that Earth has been, and will be.
Ada Palmer
Chapter 20 we will explore in far greater depth how to avoid brainwashing and how to distinguish reality from fiction. Here I would like to offer two simple rules of thumb. First, if you want reliable information, pay good money for it. If you get your news for free, you might well be the product. Suppose a shady billionaire offered you the following deal: “I will pay you $30 a month, and in exchange you will allow me to brainwash you for an hour every day, installing in your mind whichever political and commercial biases I want.” Would you take the deal? Few sane people would. So the shady billionaire offers a slightly different deal: “You will allow me to brainwash you for one hour every day, and in exchange, I will not charge you anything for this service.” Now the deal suddenly sounds tempting to hundreds of millions of people. Don’t follow their example. The second rule of thumb is that if some issue seems exceptionally important to you, make the effort to read the relevant scientific literature. And by scientific literature I mean peer-reviewed articles, books published by well-known academic publishers, and the writings of professors from reputable institutions. Science obviously has its limitations, and it has gotten many things wrong in the past. Nevertheless, the scientific community has been our most reliable source of knowledge for centuries. If you think the scientific community is wrong about something, that’s certainly possible, but at least know the scientific theories you are rejecting, and provide some empirical evidence to support your claim. Scientists, for their part, need to be far more engaged with current public debates. Scientists should not be afraid of making their voices heard when the debate wanders into their field of expertise, be it medicine or history. Of course, it is extremely important to go on doing academic research and to publish the results in scientific journals that only a few experts read. But it is equally important to communicate the latest scientific theories to the general public through popular science books, and even through the skillful use of art and fiction. Does that mean scientists should start writing science fiction? That is actually not such a bad idea. Art plays a key role in shaping people’s views of the world, and in the twenty-first century science fiction is arguably the most important genre of all, for it shapes how most people understand things such as AI, bioengineering, and climate change. We certainly need good science, but from a political perspective, a good science-fiction movie is worth far more than an article in Science or Nature.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
Houellebecq has created a new genre—the dystopian conversion tale. Submission is not the story some expected of an armed coup d’état, and no one in it expresses hatred or even contempt of Muslims. At one level it is simply about a man who through suffering and indifference finds himself slouching toward Mecca. At another level, though, it is about a civilization that after centuries of a steady, almost imperceptible sapping of inner conviction finds itself doing the same thing. The literature of civilizational decline, to which Zemmour’s Le Suicide français is a minor contribution, is typically brash and breathless. Not so Submission. There is not even drama here—no clash of spiritual armies, no martyrdom, no final conflagration. Stuff just happens, as in all Houellebecq’s fiction. All one hears at the end is a bone-chilling sigh of collective relief. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. Whatever.
Mark Lilla (The Shipwrecked Mind: On Political Reaction)
One day I found him amid large packages from which spilled attractive, glossy paperbacks with mythical covers. He had tried to use, as a "generator of ideas" — for we were running out of them — those works of fantastic literature, that popular genre (especially in the States), called, by a persistent misconception, "science fiction." He had not read such books before; he was annoyed — indignant, even — expecting variety, finding monotony. "They have everything except fantasy," he said. Indeed, a mistake. The authors of these pseudo-scientific fairy tales supply the public with what it wants: truisms, clichés, stereotypes, all sufficiently costumed and made "wonderful" so that the reader may sink into a safe state of surprise and at the same time not be jostled out of his philosophy of life. If there is progress in a culture, the progress is above all conceptual, but literature, the science-fiction variety in particular, has nothing to do with that.
Stanisław Lem (His Master's Voice)
The supposedly eyewitness authority of the Pseudo-Turpin finds a parallel in another genre in which vernacular prose was pioneered: that of the historical memoir. There were twelfth-century verse histories narrated by authors who had personally participated in the events they describe, such as the Third Crusade. But the Fourth Crusade of 1202-4 saw a switch to prose. This shameful fiasco, in which the crusaders were induced to turn aside from the Holy Land and attack instead the Christian city of Constantinople, inspired two contrasting accounts. Robert de Clari--ignorant of higher-level strategy, but all agog at the splendours of Constantinople--gives a worm's eye view. Geoffroi de Villehardouin, by contrast, has a top diplomat's suave authority and a leader's eye for the aesthetics of war--the splendid sight of a fleet, or the noble heroism of a ruler. For both authors the medium of prose seems to convey the purported authenticity and transparency of lived experience.
Sarah Cay Terence Cave Malcolm Bowie
My Nobel appeal: it’s hard to put the whole world to rights, but let us at least think about how we can prepare our own small corner of it, this corner of literature where we read, write, publish, recommend, denounce, and give awards to books. If we are to play an important role in this uncertain future, if we are to get the best from the writers of today and tomorrow, I believe we must become more diverse. I mean this in two particular senses. Firstly, we must widen our common literary world to include many more voices from beyond our comfort zones of the elite first world cultures. We must search more energetically to discover the gems from what remain today unknown literary cultures, whether the writers live in faraway countries or within our own communities. Second, we must take great care not to set too narrowly or conservatively our definitions of what constitutes good literature. The next generation will come with all sorts of new, sometimes bewildering ways to tell important and wonderful stories. We must keep our minds open to them, especially regarding genre and form, so that we can nurture and celebrate the best of them. In a time of dangerously increasing division we must listen. Good writing and good reading will break down barriers. We may even find a new idea, a great humane vision around which to rally.
Kazuo Ishiguro
Political change--alterations in public mood, sharp shifts in crowd sentiment, the collapse of party allegiance--has long been a subject of intense interest to academics and intellectuals of all kinds. There is a vast literature on revolutions, as well as a mini-genre of formulas designed to predict them. Most of these investigations focus on measurable, quantifiable economic criteria, like degrees of inequality or standards of living. Many seek to predict what level of economic pain--how much starvation, how much poverty--will produce a reaction, force people to the street, persuade them to take risks. Very recently, this question has become more difficult to answer. In the Western world, the vast majority of people are not starving. They have food and shelter. They are literate. If we describe them as "poor" or "deprived," it is sometimes because they lack things that human beings couldn't dream of a century ago, like air-conditioning or Wi-Fi. In this new world, it may be that big, ideological changes are not caused by bread shortages but by new kinds of disruptions. These new revolutions may not even look like the old revolutions at all. In a world where most political debate takes place online or on television, you don't need to go out on the street and wave a banner to assert your allegiance. In order to manifest a sharp change in political affiliation, all you have to do is switch channels, turn to a different website every morning, or start following a different group of people on social media.
Anne Applebaum (Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism)
In my introduction to Warriors, the first of our crossgenre anthologies, I talked about growing up in Bayonne, New Jersey, in the 1950s, a city without a single bookstore. I bought all my reading material at newsstands and the corner “candy shops,” from wire spinner racks. The paperbacks on those spinner racks were not segregated by genre. Everything was jammed in together, a copy of this, two copies of that. You might find The Brothers Karamazov sandwiched between a nurse novel and the latest Mike Hammer yarn from Mickey Spillane. Dorothy Parker and Dorothy Sayers shared rack space with Ralph Ellison and J. D. Salinger. Max Brand rubbed up against Barbara Cartland. A. E. van Vogt, P. G. Wodehouse, and H. P. Lovecraft were crammed in with F. Scott Fitzgerald. Mysteries, Westerns, gothics, ghost stories, classics of English literature, the latest contemporary “literary” novels, and, of course, SF and fantasy and horror—you could find it all on that spinner rack, and ten thousand others like it. I liked it that way. I still do. But in the decades since (too many decades, I fear), publishing has changed, chain bookstores have multiplied, the genre barriers have hardened. I think that’s a pity. Books should broaden us, take us to places we have never been and show us things we’ve never seen, expand our horizons and our way of looking at the world. Limiting your reading to a single genre defeats that. It limits us, makes us smaller. It seemed to me, then as now, that there were good stories and bad stories, and that was the only distinction that truly mattered.
George R.R. Martin (Rogues)
Science fiction is the literature of change, the genre that examines the implications – both beneficial and dangerous – of new sciences and technologies. It is uniquely able to do this because science fiction is not just about what is and what was, but what could be. This is what appeals most to me about the genre. A compelling science fiction story can take a reader to any point in space and time, from the farthest reaches of the Universe to the depths of the human soul. It really can be just like being there." - From the preface of Just Like Being There (Springer, 2022)
Eric Choi (Just Like Being There: A Collection of Science Fiction Short Stories (Science and Fiction))
Of course, the very genre of the crime novel or movie is rooted in the moral reality that right and wrong actually exist. It is for this reason that the crime novel and similar kinds of literature and entertainment only make sense in a civilization shaped by the Christian worldview.
R. Albert Mohler Jr. (Tell Me the Stories of Jesus: The Explosive Power of Jesus’ Parables)
Literature allows us to cross the borders -- as imaginary as they are indispensable -- which circumscribe and define our selves. Reading, we allow other people to enter us -- and if we make room for them so willingly, it's because we know them already. The novel celebrates our miraculous capacity to recognize others in ourselves, and ourselves in others. Of all the literary genres, the novel is the genre humain.
Nancy Huston (Losing North: Essays on Cultural Exile)
[Otto] Alscher is a peripheral figure in German literature, both in the sense that his achievements lie in the marginal genres of literary journalism, provincial literature, wilderness writing and the animal story, and biographically, as a Romanian German from the Banat. yet he addressed some of the central preoccupations of his contemporaries, and enjoyed a measure of success in the years before the First World War, both as a writer and as a journalist.
Ian Wallace (Fractured Biographies (German Monitor 57))
My earliest perceptions about Iran under the Pahlavis, as a young student of Middle Eastern history and social sciences in the 1990s, were absorbed in these contradictory (and often confusing) evaluations on the backdrop of overwhelming paradigm shifts and critical theories, especially those provided by subaltern studies, and the legitimation of the academic study of popular culture genres by feminist scholarship. Calls for a necessary de-westernization of Orientalist frameworks coupled with the introduction of multi(s) and posts- in contemporary literature gave way to rethinking about identity and multi-culturalism, feminisms, and post-feminism instead of feminism, gender as a replacement for sexual differences, modernity in terms of “multiple-modernities,” post-modernity or late modernity, and the conceptualization of the world’s nations as “imagined communities.
Liora Hendelman-Baavur (Creating the Modern Iranian Woman: Popular Culture between Two Revolutions (The Global Middle East))
The books of what is now the Old Testament thus probably came into existence between the ninth and the second centuries BCE. This does not necessarily mean that the records of earlier ages are pure fiction, but it makes it hard to press their details as solid historical evidence. Many readers of the Bible would recognize that the stories of the early history of the world – Noah’s Ark, the Tower of Babel – are mythical or legendary, but it may be more challenging to think that the stories of Abraham or Jacob or Moses are also essentially legends, even though people bearing those names may well have existed. No one is in a position to say they are definitely untrue, but there is no reasonable evidence that would substantiate them. This is also the case with the early kings, Saul, David and Solomon, even though the stories about them do make sense within a period (the eleventh and tenth centuries BCE) about which we know something, from the archaeological record. With the later, eighth- and seventh-century kings (for example, Hezekiah and Jehoiachin) there is definite corroboration from Assyrian and Babylonian records, and we are less in the dark. But even some of the stories of life after the exile, in the Persian period, may be fictional: most biblical scholars think that the book of Esther, for example, is a kind of novella rather than a piece of historical writing. A later date does not of itself mean that a given book is more likely to be accurate: much depends on its genre, as we shall see in the next chapter. The biblical books of the Old Testament thus probably span a period of about eight centuries, though they may incorporate older written material – ancient poems, for example – and may in some cases rest on older, orally transmitted folk-memories. But the bulk of written records in ancient Israel seem to come from a core period of the sixth and fifth centuries BCE, with heavy concentrations in some particular ages: most think, for example, that the period of the exile was particularly rich in generating written texts, as was perhaps the early Persian age, even though we know so little about the political events of the time. The flowering of Israelite literature thus came a couple of centuries earlier than the classical age in Greece. The Old Testament, taken by and large, is thus older than much Greek literature, but not enormously so. Compared with the literature of ancient Mesopotamia or Egypt, however, Israelite texts are a late arrival.
John Barton (A History of the Bible: The Book and Its Faiths)
Poetry and Genre The hallmark of rhetoric in ancient Near Eastern literature is repetition; in poetry, this takes the form of what scholars call “parallelism.” Frequently, the first line of a verse is echoed in some way by the second line. The second line might repeat the substance of the first line with slightly different emphasis, or perhaps the second line amplifies the first line in some fashion, such as drawing a logical conclusion, illustrating or intensifying the thought. At times the point of the first line is reinforced by a contrast in the second line. Occasionally, more than two lines are parallel. Each of these features, frequently observed in Biblical psalms, is represented in songs from Egypt, Mesopotamia and Ugarit. Unlike English poetry, which often depends on rhyme for its effect, these ancient cultures attained impact on listeners and readers with creative repetition. Psalms come in several standard subgenres, each with standard formal elements. Praise psalms can be either individual or corporate. Over a third of the psalms in the Psalter are praise psalms. Corporate psalms typically begin with an imperative call to praise (e.g., “Shout for joy to the LORD” [Ps 100:1]) and describe all the good things the Lord has done. Individual praise often begins with a proclamation of intent to praise (e.g., “I will praise you, LORD” [Ps 138:1]) and declare what God has done in a particular situation in the psalmist’s life. Mesopotamian and Egyptian hymns generally focus on descriptive praise, often moving from praise to petition. Examples of the proclamation format can be seen in the Mesopotamian wisdom composition, Ludlul bel nemeqi. The title is the first line of the piece, which is translated “I will praise the lord of wisdom.” As in the individual praise psalms, this Mesopotamian worshiper of Marduk reports about a problem that he had and reports how his god brought him deliverance. Lament psalms may be personal statements of despair (e.g., Ps 22:1–21, dirges following the death of an important person (cf. David’s elegy for Saul in 2Sa 1:17–27) or communal cries in times of crisis (e.g., Ps 137). The most famous lament form from ancient Mesopotamia is the “Lament Over the Destruction of Ur,” which commemorates the capture of the city in 2004 BC by the Elamite king Kindattu. For more information on this latter category, see the article “Neo-Sumerian Laments.” In the book of Psalms, more than a third of the psalms are laments, mostly by an individual. The most common complaints concern sickness and oppression by enemies. The lament literature of Mesopotamia is comprised of a number of different subgenres described by various technical terms. Some of these subgenres overlap with Biblical categories, but most of the Mesopotamian pieces are associated with incantations (magical rites being performed to try to rid the person of the problem). Nevertheless, the petitions that accompany lament in the Bible are very similar to those found in prayers from the ancient Near East. They include requests for guidance, protection, favor, attention from the deity, deliverance from crisis, intervention, reconciliation, healing and long life. Prayers to deities preserved
Anonymous (NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible: Bringing to Life the Ancient World of Scripture)
It is a strange distortion, fostered by the biases of modern literary genealogy, that the novel is so often seen these days as the dominant and privileged genre of the nineteenth century. The Victorian novel, as a new, and of course, modern exploration of the self through narrative, has become an integral part of our story of modernity's culture... Novelists were indeed lions of literary society and creators of narratives by which the world was understood and lived... Yet such literary history distorts and diminishes the cultural significance of at least two other forms of genres. which in the nineteenth century were no less fundamental as narratives of the self, and which the novel is in constant dialogue with. The first... is poetry. ... Poetry as a narrative of self-formation - reading it, writing it, learning it so that it is inside you - is fundamental to nineteenth century Bildung... ... The second flourishing genre...biography is a fundamental way in which the process of 'writing down the self' was expressed. ... New theoretical models of psychological development, however, are equally influential in this changing sense of self-construction. Scientists and theoreticians of the mind - of which Freud is only the most starry example - were producing instrumental and wide ranging paradigms of psychological development as models of individual growth or as models of social transformation. How the child would or should become an adult - sexually, morally, socially - was becoming the question argued through at a particularly heated juncture between social science, educational theory, and medicine. Life-writing became the test cases of such intellectually explosive theorizing. Theories of psychology duly became systems of upbringing, which stimulated in turn a literature of resistance and questioning.
Goldhill, Simon
I plan to publish books in other genres and continue to not put myself in a box when it comes to my art.
Lidia Longorio
If any field of literature has no, can no Mrs. Brown in it, it is fantasy - straight fantasy, the modern descendant of folktale, fairy tale, and myth. These genres deal with archetypes, not with characters. The very essence of Elfland is that Mrs. Brown can't get there - not unless she is changed, changed utterly, into an old mad witch, or a fair young princess, or a loathly Worm.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Language of the Night: Essays on Fantasy and Science Fiction)
The obsession with past trauma refracts World Lit’s sense of belatedness, even when the genre advertises its contemporaneity. You can argue that we’re still haunted by Hiroshima or the Holocaust, that people refuse to speak about this haunting — kind of the way they refuse to care about the novel. Past horrors, unlike contemporary ones, also tend to be events liberal readers agree about. But they displace the contemporary world, locating politics always elsewhere, in some distant geography and irrecoverable past. Present day confusions and controversies are neglected or sentimentalized.
The editors n+1
Lewis was unique in the academia of his day for championing (along with his good friend, J. R. R. Tolkien) children’s literature and fantasy novels as serious genres deserving serious consideration.
Louis A. Markos (A to Z with C. S. Lewis)
For Penina Mezei petrify motive in folk literature stems from ancient, mythical layers of culture that has undergone multiple transformations lost the original meaning. Therefore, the origin of this motif in the narrative folklore can be interpreted depending on the assumptions that you are the primary elements of faith in Petrify preserved , lost or replaced elements that blur the idea of integrity , authenticity and functionality of the old ones . Motif Petrify in different genres varies by type of actor’s individuality, time and space, properties and actions of its outcome, the relationship of the narrator and singers from the text. The particularity of Petrify in particular genres testifies about different possibilities and intentions of using the same folk beliefs about transforming, says Penina Mezei. In moralized ballads Petrify is temporary or eternal punishment for naughty usually ungrateful children. In the oral tradition, demonic beings are permanently Petrifying humans and animals. Petrify in fairy tales is temporary, since the victims, after entering into the forbidden demonic time and space or breaches of prescribed behavior in it, frees the hero who overcomes the demonic creature, emphasizes Mezei. Faith in the power of magical evocation of death petrifaction exists in curses in which the slanderer or ungrateful traitor wants to convert into stone. In search of the magical meaning of fatal events in fairy tales, however, it should be borne in mind that they concealed before, but they reveal the origin of the ritual. The work of stone - bedrock Penina Mezei pointed to the belief that binds the soul stone dead or alive beings. Penina speaks of stone medial position between earth and sky, earth and the underworld. Temporary or permanent attachment of the soul to stone represents a state between life and death will be punished its powers cannot be changed. Rescue petrified can only bring someone else whose power has not yet subjugated the demonic forces. While the various traditions demons Petrifying humans and animals, as long as in fairy tales, mostly babe, demon- old woman. Traditions brought by Penina Mezei , which describe Petrify people or animals suggest specific place events , while in fairy tales , of course , no luck specific place names . Still Penina spotted chthonic qualities babe, and Mezei’s with plenty of examples of comparative method confirmed that they were witches. Some elements of procedures for the protection of the witch could be found in oral stories and poems. Fairy tales keep track of violations few taboos - the hero , despite the ban on the entry of demonic place , comes in the woods , on top of a hill , in a demonic time - at night , and does not respect the behaviors that would protect him from demons . Interpreting the motives Petrify as punishment for the offense in the demon time and space depends on the choice of interpretive method is applied. In the book of fairy tales Penina Mezei writes: Petrify occurs as a result of unsuccessful contact with supernatural beings Petrify is presented as a metaphor for death (Penina Mezei West Bank Fairytales: 150). Psychoanalytic interpretation sees in the form of witches character, and the petrification of erotic seizure of power. Female demon seized fertilizing power of the masculine principle. By interpreting the archetypal witch would chthonic anima, anabaptized a devastating part unindividualized man. Ritual access to the motive of converting living beings into stone figure narrated narrative transfigured magical procedures some male initiation ceremonies in which the hero enters into a community of dedicated, or tracker sacrificial rites. Compelling witches to release a previously petrified could be interpreted as the initiation mark the conquest of certain healing powers and to encourage life force, highlights the Penina.
Penina Mezei
novels [4]. It follows that authentic text—text written for native speakers—is inappropriate for unassisted ER by all but the most advanced learners. For this reason, many educators advocate the use of learner literature, that is, stories written specifically for L2 learners, or adapted from authentic text [5]. For learners of English, there are over 40 graded reader series, consisting of over 1650 books with a variety of difficulty levels and genres [6].However, the time and expense in producing graded readers results in high purchase costs and limited availability in languages other than English and common L2‘s like Spanish and French. At a cost of £2.50 for a short English reader in 2001 [7] purchasing several thousand readers to cater for a school wide ER program requires a significant monetary investment. More affordable options are required, especially for schools in developing nations. Day and Bamford [8] recommend several alternatives when learner literature is not available. These include children's and young adult books, stories written by learners, newspapers, magazines and comic books. Some educators advocate the use of authentic texts in preference to simplified texts. Berardo [9] claims that the language in learner literature is ―artificial and unvaried‖, ―unlike anything that the learner will encounter in the real world‖ and often ―do not reflect how the language is really used‖. Berardo does concede that simplified texts are ―useful for preparing learners for reading 'real' texts. ‖ 2. ASSISTED READING Due to the large proportion of unknown vocabulary, beginner and intermediate learners require assistance when using authentic text for ER. Two popular forms of assistance are dictionaries and glossing. There are pros and cons of each approach. 1 A group of words that share the same root word, e.g. , run, ran, runner, runs, running. Permission to make digital or hard copies of all or part of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. To copy otherwise, or republish, to post on servers or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or a fee.NZCSRSC’11, April 18-21, 2011, Palmerston North, New Zealand
People who achieve great success do so by persistently and successfully meeting the challenges on The Path. Their stories are found in ancient mythology, classic and modern literature, virtually all genres of fiction, great movies, the sacred writings of the world religions, the biographies of great men and women, the lives of successful business people, entrepreneurs, teachers, parents, and the stories of “regular people” who have paid the price of greatness.
Oliver DeMille (The Student Whisperer (Leadership Education Library Book 7))
The operation would be in a week...I didn't know if I would survive. How I longed to go back to reading! There was nowhere I longed to be more than the university campus. I was preparing for a master's on fantasy literature. I was interested in why the country's literature did not include this distinctive genre. I had this great passion for studying and writing, which they explained in my household with the story of the umbilical cord. When I was born, and at my father's request, my elder sister buried my umbilical cord in the courtyard of her primary school. My father attributed my {brother's} academic failure to the fact that my mother buried his umbilical cord in the garden of our house.
Hassan Blasim (The Iraqi Christ)
So, fuck ’em, we say. Fuck the mundane of Mainstream, the elitists of Literature. We’re GENRE FICTION and proud of it, proud to wear that brand painted on the backs of our biker’s jackets.
Hal Duncan (Rhapsody: Notes on Strange Fictions)
Horror. I can't manage it. I become--well--horrified. Self-help books have a similar effect. When asked, "Any literary genre you simply can't be bothered with?" - (By the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from the NYT Book Review, by Pamela Paul)
Emma Thompson
Thus, while God’s Word is not uniform, it is internally coherent. Given these assumptions, evangelical interpretation seeks the literal sense of Scripture. This is not “letter-ism,” a stilted literalism that ignores historical tradition, cultural background, grammatical conventions, figures of speech, or literary genres. The method is much like what readers use to interpret other forms of literature. If I read a letter from my wife, for example, the meaning I seek is what she meant as she wrote.
David K. Clark (To Know and Love God: Method for Theology (Foundations of Evangelical Theology))
call “stuplimity” through a literature of exhausting repetitions and permutations, paranoia through a transcription-based poetry that continually raises the question of whether writing comes from inside or outside its author, and the racialized affect of animatedness through the screen genre of animated cartoons.
Sianne Ngai (Ugly Feelings)
We may still ask in what sense Revelation belongs to the genre of ancient religious literature we call the apocalypse. J. J. Collins defines the literary genre apocalypse in this way: ‘Apocalypse’ is a genre of revelatory literature with a narrative framework, in which a revelation is mediated by an otherworldly being to a human recipient, disclosing a transcendent reality which is both temporal, insofar as it envisages eschatological salvation, and spatial, insofar as it involves another, supernatural world.2 The reference to eschatological salvation would be disputed in some recent study of the apocalypses. Although the apocalypses have conventionally been thought to be about history and eschatology, this is not necessarily true of all of them. The heavenly secrets revealed to the seer in the extant Jewish apocalypses cover a rather wide range of topics and are not exclusively concerned with history and eschatology.3 John’s apocalypse, however, is exclusively concerned with eschatology: with eschatological judgment and salvation, and with the impact of these on the present situation in which he writes.
Richard Bauckham (The Theology of the Book of Revelation (New Testament Theology))
All of the real original stories, all of the best stories, were first told by the animals. The bears were superb story-tellers; so were the deep-space geese (they took nine generations to make a migration, laying eggs on the space journey and hatching out of them on the space journey, for the summer-land of their migrations was not on Earth). The brindled cave-cats were very good story-tellers. Among the stories were well-established genre stories. The seals told under-water stories that they learned from river-and-ocean creatures; and the golden weasels, who really came from the moon, told all sorts of space stories. So the Neanderthals, who learned the stories from the animals, had a very good stock of tales.
R.A. Lafferty (It's Down the Slippery Cellar Stairs (Essays on Fantastic Literature 1))
Science fiction is a literature that belongs to all humankind. It portrays events of interest to all of humanity, and thus science fiction should be the literary genre most accessible to readers of different nations.
Liu Cixin
Science fiction used to be a dangerous literature. Now, it is a very commercial genre, and whatever dangers might still lurk within seem to have been safely sanitized for the marketplace. The real crime is that the lobotomy has been self performed. I
Harlan Ellison (The City on the Edge of Forever: The Original Teleplay)
I am a serious reader, and I read slowly. I deeply respect literature and expect to gain insight from a book and to identify emotionally with its characters. I therefore avoid reading suspense novels or science fiction. Family life and society are so rich and filled with surprises that I have no need of murders solved by clever detectives to better understand the drama of life all around me. The literary trappings and moralizing of science fiction I find insufficiently compelling. Very possibly, I am missing out on important genres. (This sounded so much like ME from one of my favorite authors!!)
A.B. Yehoshua
Thus, for an adequate interpretation of the differences found between the classes or within the same class as regards their relation to the various legitimate arts, painting, music, theatre, literature etc., one would have to analyse fully the social uses, legitimate or illegitimate, to which each of the arts, genres, works or institutions considered lends itself. For example, nothing more clearly affirms one's 'class', nothing more infallibly classifies, than tastes in music.
Pierre Bourdieu (Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste)
Hard SF is the literature of change, the genre that examines the implications—both beneficial and dangerous—of new sciences and technologies.
Ben Bova (Carbide Tipped Pens: Seventeen Tales of Hard Science Fiction)
the inerrancy of the Bible relates to the authors’ original intent, not necessarily to our interpretation of a passage. Moreover, the inerrancy of an author’s writing must be understood in accordance with the genre of literature the author was using and the culture the author was writing within. For example, we cannot say that an ancient author was incorrect in what he said just because he did not employ the same standard of precision we employ in our culture.
Gregory A. Boyd (Across the Spectrum: Understanding Issues in Evangelical Theology)
The whole man was in all his judgments and activities, and a discriminating zest for life, for 'common life', informs every page he wrote. He saw education as actualizing the potentiality for the leisured activities of thought, art, literature and conversation. 'Grete clerk' as he was, he was never willfully esoteric: quotations and allusions rose unbidden to the surface of his full and fertile mind, but whether drawn from Tristram Shandy or James Thurber they elucidate not decorate. His works are all of a piece: a book in one genre will correct, illumine, or amplify what is latent in another.
Jocelyn Gibb (Light on C. S. Lewis (Harvest Book; Hb 341))
In spite of the fact that soap operas are such a distortion of real life, of reality, these melodramas have more influence in real life-at least more visible influence on the attitudes of the people-than creative literature. Radio and television serials have a tremendous impact ont he way people think, act, and function in life. Therefore, it can be said that in Latin America, in Peru, the literature that is most representative of real life, of real reality, is not creative literature-the great achievement of the intellect-but the popular genres. These popular genres, int heir distortion, in their stereotyped report of life, are also closer to what real life is than creative, artistic literature. That is why achievements in art or literature must not be judged by comparing them with reality.
Mario Vargas Llosa
The more we deviate from those safe confines [of genre fiction], the more dangerous the story starts to feel, the less safe it is. Sometimes, it veers all the way into the super jaggedy realm of literature, which is really scary and often not escapist and intended to grind your face in the machete of reality.
Annalee Newitz
Literary subjects as a whole enjoyed a great popularity at the Salon of 1839. France had a passionate addiction throughout the twenties and thirties to English literature, English history, and Goethe. This addiction is seen, for instance, in the extraordinary popularity of the historical novels of Walter Scott. Their pages held not only events and figures of profound interest to a history-curious society, but also a wealth of descriptive detail about the material side of life in other times: what people did, what their homes were like, how they spoke, how they dressed, what they fought about, what they believed in, and—most entertaining—whom they loved. These accounts, told by a fictional observer of the lower class, found universal favor. The educated admired Scott’s erudition, while all social strata loved his use of local color, description, and melodramatic anecdotes. Scott’s historical novel, by format and methods, is the primary literary source of the genre historique in history painting. Both were equally popular in the arts. Both directly reflect bourgeois tastes and were dependent for their proliferation on a new literate, commercial society. By the early thirties, the Scott repertoire was so well known that a Salon audience would have found the stories recognizable without a catalog entry.
Patricia Condon (The Art of the July Monarchy: France, 1830 to 1848)
The academic literature on innovation and creativity is rich with subtle distinctions between innovations and inventions, between different modes of creativity: artistic, scientific, technological. I have deliberately chosen the broadest possible phrasing—good ideas—to suggest the cross-disciplinary vantage point I am trying to occupy. The good ideas in this survey range from software platforms to musical genres to scientific paradigms to new models for government. My premise is that there is as much value to be found in seeking the common properties across all these varied forms of innovation and creativity as there is value to be found in documenting the differences between them.
Steven Johnson (Where Good Ideas Come From)
I shot him at the base of the brain. He quivered, looking ahead wide eyed, straining, then slowly all the life force slid from those eyes and his muscles lost their tension. He took one last, long, slow breath and died. I cried inside and out…. I want to sit here for another half-hour with the elk, as if at the bedside of an old friend. Just sit as I have done before and try to figure out why it is I do this. Kill and then mourn.8 There is a whole genre of this stuff, always with this same theme of killing and bereavement, killing and self-revulsion, killing and emptiness. The idea that just maybe killing is the problem, and it might be best to work it all out at home, take a little break from the blood sports to “figure out why it is I do this,” never seems to occur to them. Read enough hunting literature and you begin to suspect a deeper kind of self-display, the spiritual version of posing with one’s trophies.
Matthew Scully (Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy)
The only means I have to stop ignorant snobs from behaving toward genre fiction with snobbish ignorance is to not reinforce their ignorance and snobbery by lying and saying that when I write SF it isn’t SF, but to tell them more or less patiently for forty or fifty years that they are wrong to exclude SF and fantasy from literature, and proving my argument by writing well”).
Zadie Smith (Feel Free: Essays)
in literature—no matter the genre—accomplishes this one thing for those readers who give themselves over to it. It takes them on a journey through time and space and includes them in the story.
David Gatewood (Synchronic: 13 Tales of Time Travel)
I can hear some of you groaning as you read this section. “Great,” you’re saying. “I have to put a theme in my book? Themes are only for that ‘high literature’ stuff that gets taught in universities, not for my nice, entertaining genre fiction.
Libbie Hawker (Take Off Your Pants! Outline Your Books for Faster, Better Writing)
He thought of Penthe. He sensed a flutter, her smile, a look, just her hair, wild, passing by. He watched the fire, in the fog, for some time. It was the entrance to Hades, where Odysseus visited Achilles...
Mark Morneweg (Penthe & Alphonse)
If any city was a study in noir et blanc—be it black-and-white photography, film, or literature—Paris was it. The French versions of all three techniques were born during the Age of Romanticism. So was the concept of the daredevil avenger-antihero of the noir crime novel genre, the so-called polar, a Parisian specialty I learned to love.
David Downie (A Passion for Paris: Romanticism and Romance in the City of Light)
Unfortunately, we associate apocalyptic literature with end-times literature, as if its goal were a matter of prediction. But this is a misunderstanding of the biblical genre; the point of apocalyptic literature is not prediction but unmasking—unveiling the realities around us for what they really are. So apocalyptic literature is a genre that tries to get us to see the world on a slant and thus see through the spin.
James K.A. Smith (Desiring the Kingdom (Cultural Liturgies): Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation)
Literary Genre In current trends within critical scholarship, Jonah is commonly labeled as parody or satire. The former typically lampoons a piece of literature, while the latter targets people (specific or stereotyped categories) or events, as Jonah does. Satire can be either an enactment or a written composition in which vice, folly or incompetence is held up for ridicule. The closer to reality a satire can be, the more effective it is. By definition it targets real people and tries to use the mannerisms and words that they use. Satire exaggerates reality, but by its nature is based on reality. Satire and parody are both known in the ancient world and the Bible. The examples of parody in the ancient Near East also target entities that are considered to be historical and from which historical information may be deduced. In the realm of related satire, the Babylonian “Dialogue of Pessimism” targets a wide variety of cultural institutions. The satire in the book of Jonah targets Jonah personally as a ludicrous example of how a prophet might behave. ◆ Key Concepts • Much of the significance of the book depends on understanding that the Ninevite response is superficial, yet God responds anyway. • Jonah is put in Nineveh’s shoes in order for the book to make its point about God’s compassion being undeserved. • Jonah is not a missionary; he is a prophet. • Jonah’s message is of judgment, not instruction or hope.
Anonymous (NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible: Bringing to Life the Ancient World of Scripture)
Until 2011, students majoring in English at UCLA had to take one course in Chaucer, two in Shakespeare, and one in Milton—the cornerstones of English literature. Following a revolt of the junior faculty, however, during which it was announced that Shakespeare was part of the “Empire,” UCLA junked these individual author requirements and replaced them with a mandate that all English majors take a total of three courses in the following four areas: Gender, Race, Ethnicity, Disability, and Sexuality Studies; Imperial, Transnational, and Postcolonial Studies; genre studies, interdisciplinary studies, and critical theory; or creative writing. In other words, the UCLA faculty was now officially indifferent as to whether an English major had ever read a word of Chaucer, Milton, or Shakespeare, but was determined to expose students, according to the course catalog, to “alternative rubrics of gender, sexuality, race, and class.
Heather Mac Donald (The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture)
In the early Soviet years, before ‘socialist realism’ became the prescribed genre in literature, painting, film and even music, the first big new thing in the arts under Communism was ‘Prolekult’, proletarian culture. The idea was that art would reflect the experience of people in the workplace, and many artists went to factories to produce work collectively in teams rather than individually. ‘The “I” of bourgeois culture would yield to the “we” of the new world,’ as Lunacharsky said. Large amounts of money were spent on projects like building an orchestra from the sound of clanking factory machinery, and replacing old paintings in museums with often abstract new pieces produced in working conditions by a team of labourers and artists together. This was the first ‘cultural revolution’ under Communism, which aimed to destroy everything old and start anew.
Victor Sebestyen (Lenin the Dictator)
If Borges’s constant vaivén (between politics and metaphysics, between north and south, between the small and the vast, between the universal and the insular) proves something, it is that literature’s relationship to borders of any kind is an arbitrary imposition. Nationalities, hemispheres, periods, schools, genres, and themes are artificial boundaries that may be useful for taxonomical purposes, but literature, as Borges repeatedly shows, should be read and written with a joyful disregard for these classifications.
Hernan Diaz (Borges, Between History and Eternity)
What would you do if you were a goddess, Cotswold?" Her maid, who had been pulling Eleanor's covers up the bed, stilled her motion. Her expression drew together, as though she were considering it. "I suppose I would find the most handsome man in the world and make him my... my..." She waved her hand to indicate the word she shouldn't be saying. "Cotswold!" Eleanor exclaimed, delightedly. "That sounds scandalous!" "Wouldn't it be what you did?" Eleanor shrugged. "I was thinking more along the lines of being able to have and read all the books I wanted to." Cotswold returned to her task. "Choosing a book over a handsome man." She shook her head, mock ruefully. "And here you were wanting to do something scandalous." The honest part was, it would be scandalous. If it were possible to not be a duke's daughter and be someone else, she would choose to work in a bookshop. Not one that sold the material it seemed Lord Alexander wanted to purchase; one with fairy tales and mythological books and any kind of literature where it was just as likely a dragon would drag you off somewhere as a viscount. "I just might," Eleanor said in a defiant tone, making her maid snort.
Megan Frampton (Lady Be Bad (Duke's Daughters, #1))
Sometimes a piece of literature is intended to be factual or historical, sometimes poetic or figurative, oftentimes both. So it is the literary context that determines how a scripture should be understood, not our expectations that we bring to the text. Since the Bible is literature with different genres and styles of writing, we should be literary in our interpretation, not literal.
Brian Godawa (End Times Bible Prophecy: It’s Not What They Told You (Chronicles of the Apocalypse))
Personally I know only one person who wrote about utopia. Afterwards he was executed. I suppose it's not my genre.
Alexander Zalan (Pavilion of Thoughts)
Starting on the side of particulars, Tolstoy approaches the problems of history and the will through literature. Starting on the side of universals, Schopenhauer approaches the problems of history and the will through philosophy. In this way, they can be said to say the same thing, approaching it from different sides. The most striking difference between the two, however, lies neither with their epistemological starting points nor with the genres in which they write, but with the quietism that each is attempting to impart. Each wants us to accept the world and renounce the will, and consequently each rejects the notion that history is progressing and is governed by the actions of “great men.” But Schopenhauer’s aim in writing The World as Will and Representation is to cure our hearts “of the passion for enjoying and indeed for living,” while Tolstoy, in writing War and Peace, takes as his task “to make people love life in all its countless manifestations.
Caleb Thompson
*To each house and each window Comes a big, kind nanny- Harry the giraffe With a long neck and big brown eyes Bringing its magic gifts and stories...* Jenny M. "Diary of a Giraffe. Harry and Bedtime tags: children-s-lit, children-s-literature, children-ya, childrens-and-ya, childrens-books, childrens-fiction, childrens-lit, childrens-literature, childrens-ya, childrensbooks, inspirational books for kids, genre__childrens_general_fiction, infanzia, kiddie, kiddielit, kidlit, kids, kids-books, little-kids-books, read-aloud-to-child, bedtime books stories for kids
Jenny Mitchell (Diary of a Giraffe. Harry and Bedtime)
Many compositions cannot be comprehended without special training or many hours of repeated listening. Even highly educated consumers who enjoy modern art and read James Joyce often find Elliott Carter and Pierre Boulez to be puzzling or perhaps even painful to listen to. Composers of contemporary "classical" music have not made the headway that their peers in literature or painting have enjoyed. Contemporary music, depending on genre, is either the most or the least popular of the these three arts.
Tyler Cowen (In Praise of Commercial Culture)
get a kick out of some of the genre fiction. Especially cop stuff.” “Do you have a favorite writer?” “Dozens of them. Did you come over here to ask me about my tastes in literature?
Scott Pratt (Injustice For All (Joe Dillard #3))
Left now in a state of dull, cold bitterness, knowing just how close he had been to saving her, he stared, still lost in the ebbing and flowing toxic delirium of krite venom, at roiling grey clouds — but eventually hope rose again within him, bringing a recollection of the natural mutability of the sky that allowed the suggestion of truth and beauty back into his mind. Ellaras was a jewel of a world covered by vast oceans and clear skies and the elements lent great power and mystery to her existence. If there were elemental spirits, as druid lore told, there was great hope for the world’s ultimate redemption. That was the beauty. Beset with conflict now at almost every turn in his waking life, Thor could normally afford little time for any lament over his world’s anguish. Some key incidents affected him more deeply than others, however, and this incident had remained raw within for an unusually long time. Undoubtedly, it had higher meaning in delivering the awareness of truth, if not in envisioning a higher existence, as the tenth primary precept of Mindcraft asked. Yet reliving the episode now told him that something important could yet be achieved despite the death of that unusually principled young Law Keeper. The key factor, only obvious to him now, was that the individual behind her abduction seemed more like a machine than an Ellaran. That was the truth.
Martel The Hammer (At the Rising of the Star (The Dragon Wars Book 4))
This is why Ariel had hired the young woman. Not because of her encyclopedic knowledge of nearly everything, especially genre literature, which turned out to be a tremendous asset for bookselling, but because Ariel recognized the terrible weight of world-shattering disillusionment. She wanted to help ease it.
Chris Pavone (Two Nights in Lisbon)
Without a shadow of a doubt, the first fiction ever recounted was fantasy. Guys sitting around the campfire— Was it you who wrote the review? I thought I recognized it— Guys sitting around the campfire telling each other stories about the gods who made lightning, and stuff like that. They did not tell one another literary stories. They did not complain about difficulties of male menopause while being a junior lecturer on some midwestern college campus. Fantasy is without a shadow of a doubt the ur-literature, the spring from which all other literature has flown. Up to a few hundred years ago no one would have disagreed with this, because most stories were, in some sense, fantasy. Back in the middle ages, people wouldn’t have thought twice about bringing in Death as a character who would have a role to play in the story. Echoes of this can be seen in Pilgrim’s Progress, for example, which hark back to a much earlier type of storytelling. The epic of Gilgamesh is one of the earliest works of literature, and by the standard we would apply now— a big muscular guys with swords and certain godlike connections— That’s fantasy. The national literature of Finland, the Kalevala. Beowulf in England. I cannot pronounce Bahaghvad-Gita but the Indian one, you know what I mean. The national literature, the one that underpins everything else, is by the standards that we apply now, a work of fantasy. Now I don’t know what you’d consider the national literature of America, but if the words Moby Dick are inching their way towards this conversation, whatever else it was, it was also a work of fantasy. Fantasy is kind of a plasma in which other things can be carried. I don’t think this is a ghetto. This is, fantasy is, almost a sea in which other genres swim. Now it may be that there has developed in the last couple of hundred years a subset of fantasy which merely uses a different icongraphy, and that is, if you like, the serious literature, the Booker Prize contender. Fantasy can be serious literature. Fantasy has often been serious literature. You have to fairly dense to think that Gulliver’s Travels is only a story about a guy having a real fun time among big people and little people and horses and stuff like that. What the book was about was something else. Fantasy can carry quite a serious burden, and so can humor. So what you’re saying is, strip away the trolls and the dwarves and things and put everyone into modern dress, get them to agonize a bit, mention Virginia Woolf a few times, and there! Hey! I’ve got a serious novel. But you don’t actually have to do that.
Terry Pratchett
This. This is great literature. It’s not highbrow or intellectual, but it’s an experience. It makes the reader live and breathe and cry and mourn the losses of its characters before they celebrate the victories. It touches on passion and personal poignancy. There’s a reason romance is one of the most popular genres in the world, whether snooty-falooty people want to believe it or not.
Max Monroe (Accidental Attachment)
I get most of my inspiration from two places: my own life, and reading. I read widely—in my genre (romance), and in all sorts of different genres, from urban fantasy to literature. Then there’s your own life. Romance is a fantasy genre, but if the rock core of your characters doesn’t come from your own life, from emotions you know intimately, the book won’t fly. I don’t mean you have to be married to Casanova—I mean that a heroine will feel genuine to readers if she shares some of your fears or triumphs. Craft the emotional part of the plot from truths you learned from your own life, from watching your friends’ lives, or from reading books.
Eloisa James
The language can feel hard, and the structure of the stories is very different from what you see in the modern novel, but once you adjust to these elements you'll discover that medieval literature and other older works are weird and fun and explore a lot of the same questions we are still asking today. Plus, without Beowulf, Chaucer and Sir Thomas Mallory we wouldn't have The Lord of the Rings, or Game of Thrones. Old English epics and medieval romance set the ground work for the whole fantasy genre.
Jenny L. Howe (The Make-Up Test)
Within the pages of my books, I weave tales that enchant and enlighten. Bridge the hearts from every path and across the diverse genres, hold a steadfast belief that in the realm of literature, transformation blooms, and stories aspire not just with hours of enjoyment but with moments of profound wisdom and introspection.
Jose Fernandez Jr
Eighteenth-century English readers couldn’t get enough of the macabre, and by the latter half of the century, the Gothic novel was the most popular genre of literature
Lisa Kröger (Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction)
Eighteenth-century English readers couldn’t get enough of the macabre, and by the latter half of the century, the Gothic novel was the most popular genre of literature. Enter Ann Radcliffe, who wrote the most popular Gothic romances of the 1790s, making her a best-selling writer in her day and establishing the definitive formula for the genre.
Lisa Kröger (Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction)
they are, in this sense, as Hengel calls them, ‘kerygmatic biography’.54 In the case of John, however, it is not simply a ‘kerygmatic biography’, but, Reynolds suggests, an ‘apocalyptic Gospel’: it is a Gospel, in that it is a narrative that proclaims the salvation offered through Christ; but it is apocalyptic, in that it utilizes structural and thematic elements shared with material found in the genre of ‘apocalypse’. The Gospel of John, bringing these elements together in a novel manner, Reynolds argues, breaks the moulds of both gospel and apocalypse: ‘John’s Gospel is not so much an apocalypse reversed, inside out, upside down, but an apocalypse that is shaken, stirred, and inserted into a Gospel’.55 While the Gospel of John does undoubtedly employ many of the themes common to ‘apocalyptic literature’, given the problems we have seen inherent in the attempt to identify a genre ‘apocalypse’, it is difficult to base the description of the Gospel of John as an ‘apocalyptic Gospel’ on the basis of genre.
John Behr (John the Theologian and his Paschal Gospel: A Prologue to Theology)
which is to say I've had the opportunity to speak with a great many people about postapocalyptic literature. I've heard a great many theories about why there's such an interest in the genre. One person suggested to me that it had to do with economic inequality, that in a world that can seem fundamentally unfair, perhaps we long to just blow everything up and start over
Emily St. John Mandel (Sea of Tranquility)
After I left finance, I started attending some of the fashionable conferences attended by pre-rich and post-rich technology people and the new category of technology intellectuals. I was initially exhilarated to see them wearing no ties, as, living among tie-wearing abhorrent bankers, I had developed the illusion that anyone who doesn’t wear a tie was not an empty suit. But these conferences, while colorful and slick with computerized images and fancy animations, felt depressing. I knew I did not belong. It was not just their additive approach to the future (failure to subtract the fragile rather than add to destiny). It was not entirely their blindness by uncompromising neomania. It took a while for me to realize the reason: a profound lack of elegance. Technothinkers tend to have an “engineering mind”—to put it less politely, they have autistic tendencies. While they don’t usually wear ties, these types tend, of course, to exhibit all the textbook characteristics of nerdiness—mostly lack of charm, interest in objects instead of persons, causing them to neglect their looks. They love precision at the expense of applicability. And they typically share an absence of literary culture. This absence of literary culture is actually a marker of future blindness because it is usually accompanied by a denigration of history, a byproduct of unconditional neomania. Outside of the niche and isolated genre of science fiction, literature is about the past. We do not learn physics or biology from medieval textbooks, but we still read Homer, Plato, or the very modern Shakespeare. We cannot talk about sculpture without knowledge of the works of Phidias, Michelangelo, or the great Canova. These are in the past, not in the future. Just by setting foot into a museum, the aesthetically minded person is connecting with the elders. Whether overtly or not, he will tend to acquire and respect historical knowledge, even if it is to reject it. And the past—properly handled, as we will see in the next section—is a much better teacher about the properties of the future than the present. To understand the future, you do not need technoautistic jargon, obsession with “killer apps,” these sort of things. You just need the following: some respect for the past, some curiosity about the historical record, a hunger for the wisdom of the elders, and a grasp of the notion of “heuristics,” these often unwritten rules of thumb that are so determining of survival. In other words, you will be forced to give weight to things that have been around, things that have survived.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder)