Synopses & Reviews
Since Aristotle, genre has been one of the fundamental concepts of literary theory, and much of the world's literature and criticism has been shaped by ideas about the nature, function and value of literary genres. Modern developments in critical theory, however, prompted in part by the iconoclastic practices of modern writers and the emergence of new media such as film and television, have put in question traditional categories, and challenged the assumptions on which earlier genre theory was based. This has led not just to a reinterpretation of individual genres and the development of new classifications, but also to a radically new understanding of such key topics as the mixing and evolution of genres, generic hierarchies and genre-systems, the politics and sociology of genres, and the relations between genre and gender.
This anthology, the first of its kind in English, charts these fascinating developments. Through judicious selections from major twentieth-century genre theorists including Yury Tynyanov, Vladimir Propp, Mikhail Bakhtin, Hans Robert Jauss, Rosalie Colie, Fredric Jameson, Tzvetan Todorov, G rard Genette and Jacques Derrida, it demonstrates the central role that notions of genre have played in Russian Formalism, structuralism and post-structuralism, reception theory, and various modes of historical criticism. Each essay is accompanied by a detailed headnote, and the
volume opens with a lucid introduction emphasising the international and interdisciplinary character of modern debates about genre. Also included are an annotated bibliography and a glossary of key terms, making this an indispensable resource for students and anyone interested in genre studies or literary theory.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 267-278) and index.
Table of Contents
Criticism of the theory of artistic and literary kinds / Benedetto Croce -- The literary fact / Yury Tynyanov -- Fairy tale transformations / Vladimir Propp -- Epic and novel : toward a methodology for the study of the novel / Mikhail Bakhtin -- The problem of speech genres / Mikhail Bakhtin -- The mythos of summer : romance / Northrop Frye -- Royal genres / Ireneusz Opacki -- Theory of genres and medieval literature / Hans Robert Jauss -- Genre-systems and the functions of literature / Rosalie Colie -- Magical narratives : on the dialectical use of genre criticism / Frederic Jameson -- The origin of genres / Tzvetan Todorov -- The architext / Gâerard Genette -- The law of genre / Jacques Derrida -- Transformations of genre / Alastair Fowler -- Genre and gender / Mary Eagleton.