Three Incidents at the Border of Genre
From a perspective of conceptual economy, rather than the specialized literature on genre, this text discusses what genre divisions can do when applied to cultural artifacts compared to other forms of classification or typology? On which aspect of the artifact is it rewarding for a concept of genre to operate, and what is achieved when extending its use beyond traditional divisions in fine arts, Hollywood movies and popular music? Are there restrictions inherent to the concept of genre itself, explicable in a grammar of the concept? The criteria unfolded by such a grammar seems to be more technical than properly aesthetic, close to the ideal of perfection in traditional normative poetics. With one significant addition, the criteria are always too specific to allow for the perfect example of genre. Perfection belongs to the law of the genre, not to the artifact enforcing the law. Imperfection may indeed explain the resilience of the genre form. What remains is a vertical structure, a model for which even the model example is a fall from grace.
Derrida, Jacques. (1978). From restricted to general economy: a Hegelianism without reserve. In Jacques Derrida, Writing and Difference (pp. 251-277). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Derrida, Jacques. (1992). The law of genre. In Jacques Derrida, Acts of Literature (pp. 221-252). London: Routledge.
Dylan, Bob. (1991/1983). Blind Willie McTell, The Bootleg Series, vol. 3, Columbia 02-488100-10.
Dylan, Bob. (1993). World Gone Wrong, Sony BMG, ASIN: B0015RCUSW.
Eastwood, Clint (2002/1992). Unforgiven, 10th Anniversary, Two-Disc Special Edition, Warner Bros., Z12 23457.
Fried, Michael. (1998). Manet’s modernism: Or, the face of painting in the 1860s. Chicago: University of Chicago Press,.
Hegel, Georg. (1976/1807). Phänomenologie des Geistes (Phenomenology of the spirit). Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag,.
Munch, Edvard. (1885-86). Det syke barn (The Sick Child), The National Museum Oslo, Collection number 839.
Karsten, Ludvig. (1907). Tæring (Tuberculosis), The National Museum Oslo, Collection number 963.
Store norske leksikon (1995). 2nd edit. “genremaleri”, vol. 6, p. 76, “sjanger”. vol. 13 p. 253, Kunnskapsforlaget, Aschehoug & Gyldendal, Oslo.
- There are currently no refbacks.