Re: RARA-AVIS: Private Eyes. What else?

From: Juri Nummelin (
Date: 02 Mar 2001

> I asked,
> "And can the genre and the story be separated in that way? The genre is
> manifested in the works."
> And Mark answered:
> Of course they can be separated. For instance, can't we all think of
> plenty of books which are undeniably part of the genre which are awful
> stories? [snip] So quality can be totally independent of its place in the
> genre.

I wasn't thinking of the quality. I meant to say that stories are not independent of the genre and genre is not independent of the stories. We wouldn't know there is a genre if there would be no works in it. Even the stupidest P.I. stories with girls and guns and chases form the P.I. genre as much as Chandler or Parker. The word "genre" cannot be used when the quality of the work is being described.

Does that make any sense? What I meant to say was that the genre leads to works, but the works equally lead to the genre. (This begins to sound like the eternal hen-egg question. Which one comes first? The works, perhaps, but one might say that even the groundstone work in a genre (say Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings") don't come out of nowhere. They have their own predecessors.)


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