Monday, April 23, 2007

Drive-by Posting

Some quotes from the wonder-net (as in, "I wonder...?"):

Targeting students due to the nature of their creative writing is an exceeding dangerous precedent — especially in regard to students who write extreme forms of fantasy, science fiction, and horror literature. Students can now become afraid to create this type of genre fiction...Who has the right to say what? Who has the right to write what? When is the line which demarcates the acceptable in regard to communication crossed?

--a letter to Locusmag by Marleen Barr on the Virginia Tech shootings

Anonymous nastiness is easy to write, and will always find an appreciative audience. I don’t care. It’s not a manifestation of the free and open discourse of the internet; it’s a thing that destroys that discourse. To be specific, it’s the same old trashmouthed bullying we all know from junior high and high school. Putting it on the net doesn’t cause it to develop any novel complexities or interesting emergent behaviors. It’s just the same old sh*t.

--a post by Teresa Nielsen-Hayden on anonymous online comments

Genre fiction does exist, and these day there is little left of the once-prevalent condescension of literary highbrows toward the popular literature. Genre fiction is any fiction that forms a category of particular readership taste. What consistutes the boundaries of the genre depends on what the reading public buys. Genre fiction is judged as good and bad not on its storytelling quality only, but also on how well or poorly the specific genre standards are met.

-- a post by John C. Wright on genre and mainstream fiction

We live in a time when far more pages are written than any one person could read in ten lifetimes, and the only justification for adding to those pages that I can think of is to add something that strives for an honesty and clarity of language and structure, something that is neither comforting nor discomforting by design, but is, instead, a tool for thinking and feeling more powerfully about the fact that we are alive in a world more complex than any of our philosophies.

-- a post by Matthew Cheney on writing and comfort

In other words, word.


Alexander said...

I liked the last quote because it touches on the requirements for specific genres!

Genre is like the concept of "time". When we see it, we know it. When we try to define it, we run into great difficulty.

When is a story considered part of a genre (or a set of genres)? I supposed when it contains the elements that people normally deem to be an essential part of that genre.

banzai cat said...

Yep, which is why I thought the last part was pretty noteworthy, i.e. a separate standard for genre. (Of course am not sure if I would agree with the first part of the quote but that's just me.)

You should check out the rest of Wright's stuff. :-)