Re: RARA-AVIS: Poly what?

Date: 16 Sep 2007

miker wrote:

"The value in definition is that there is some understanding between folks discussing the subject."

As others, especially John Cawelti, have pointed out, labels are initially applied retroactively as someone proposes similarities between artists. If those labels have been accepted, a genre enters a self-conscious stage, as we long ago did with noir and hardboiled.

From a reader's point of view, labels are helpful in pointing out books
(or movies) in a similar vein that I might enjoy. However, if the author too slavishly adheres to a label's "rules," I'm liable to find that boring. Ideally, there is a nice balance between genre convention and innovation.


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