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, Gérard 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.
Table of Contents
Preface Key Concepts Introduction 1. Benedetto Croce Criticism of the Theory of Artistic and Literary Kinds 2. Yury Tynyanov The Literary Fact 3. Vladimir Propp Fairy Tale Transformations 4. Mikhail Bakhtin Epic and Novel : Toward a Methodology for the Study of the Novel 5. Mikhail Bakhtin The Problem of Speech Genres 6. Northrop Frye The Mythos of Summer : Romance 7. Ireneusz Opacki Royal Genres 8. Hans Robert Jauss Theory of Genres and Medieval Literature 9. Rosalie Colie Genre-Systems and the Functions of Literature 10. Fredric Jameson Magical Narratives : On the Dialectical Use of Genre Criticism 11. Tzvetan Todorov The Origin of Genres
12. Gerard Genette The Architext 13. Jacques Derrida The Law of Genre 14. Alastair Fowler Transformations of Genre 15. Mary Eagleton Genre and Gender Notes on Authors Further Reading Index
David Duff is Lecturer in English at the University of Aberdeen and previously taught at the universities of Gdańsk and Torun, Poland.