Thursday, April 12, 2007

In Defense of Genre

For kyu:

I think the depth of meaning which the genre can plumb is underestimated. I think we're talking about weighty matters: love and death and transformation. Beauty in destruction. Beauty in transformation, I prefer. I'm interested in paradox. Pleasure rooted in pain. Life rooted in death. Failure and success. The fact that there are an awful lot of books which share the genre that are about giant whelks is not my problem. It doesn't mean that I have to pertain to that level. I think that any genre one investigates to the fundamental structures can carry a motherlode of meaning…The energy of a genre lies in its popular life. I'm pleased people are writing theses, but I'm writing for the guy on the train. I think it's important to respect the punter, and I hope that one can deliver material which is going to be entertaining and demanding.

Interview with Clive Barker by Kim Newman, Interzone, No 14, Winter 1985/86

8 comments:

skinnyblackcladdink said...

but shouldn't that hold true for just about any sort of fiction?

Alexander said...

Interesting insights on the concept of genre and fiction from a veteran. One almost wants to press for him for more details...

banzai cat said...

skinny: Yes but his point is that just because one is a populist writer doesn't mean one has to dumb down one's writing.

alex: You can check out the link to his site, he has a number of very good quotes on genre.

skinnyblackcladdink said...

ah. i see it now. yes, thank you. so i guess this means kyu's definitely decided to go the populist route to genre?

either way, go kyu.

banzai cat said...

Well, it's his mag. And it's called Philippine genre, after all. *shrugs*

gabe said...

Quite a little rumble in the Bronx you've all got going, eh?

skinnyblackcladdink said...

'genre' = 'populist', is it? i shouldn't have thought so. but that's just me, eh?

banzai cat said...

gabe: Heh it's all fun and games here, man. ;-)

skinny: Well, you could always take that issue up with Clive Barker, yanno. ;-)