Saturday, October 19, 2013

Thoughts on Genre From People More Famous Than Me

This word genre for some reason always make me think of 1950's black and white film noir movies. I almost never apply the term to anything I write...or read, for that matter. Maybe because I wasn't published in a more formal era, when books got shelved on multitudinous brick-and-mortar bookstores by genre, I just sort of let the Muse direct me to the story we want to tell. Since I self publish most things currently, the only time I have to worry too much about the genre is when I'm trying to pick BISAC (Book Industry Standards and Communications) codes or outthink Amazon as to where my book should be pigeon-holed...I mean key worded.

I liked this quote: There's only one type of music and that's good music, no matter what genre it is. 

Could we get away with saying there's only one kind of book and that's good? Well, probably not. I do realize "genre" provides some hints and help to the Readers who are in the mood for a particular flavor of fiction and don't want to find a Bug Eyed Monster popping up at Almack's, for example. (But can he/she/it waltz and is he/she/it a Duke in its own world????)

Here's some common ground between me and another well-known individual:
I'm not loyal to one genre. I want to mix it up.
Benedict Cumberbatch 

I think Mr. Diesel, quoted below, crosses genres, having seen him in Fast and the Furious and Pitch Black, among other things:
I am flattered that they think that many people would enjoy my work. I don't approach any genre a different way than I may approach another one. I treat every role I do like a role worthy of applying whatever kind of tactic, process and talent I have.
Vin Diesel 

Can I have my own genre? Please?
When you're talking about Tim Burton, you're talking about a guy that has such a visual sense, an aesthetic, a storytelling style. It's like he's got his own genre.
Jackie Earle Haley 

I like this idea a LOT, because I write SF among other things:
SF isn't a genre; SF is the matrix in which genres are embedded, and because the SF field is never going in any one direction at any one time, there is hardly a way to cut it off.
Larry Niven 

I'm with her:
I believe the adventure game genre will never die any more than any type of storytelling would ever die.
Roberta Williams 

This quote would be an excellent last word on the topic (even if he was talking about the last century):
In my opinion, the most significant works of the twentieth century are those that rise beyond the conceptual tyranny of genre; they are, at the same time, poetry, criticism, narrative, drama, etc.
Juan Goytisolo 

And last but not least, I think the Muse and I will now go off duty here and try to accomplish the challenge Lady GaGa poses:
So there's nothing more provocative than taking a genre that everybody who's cool hates - and then making it cool.
Lady Gaga 

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