Final Draft - Defining to Understand Genre

Final Draft - Defining to Understand Genre - Defining to...

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Defining to Understand Genre John Spina WRT 105 – Media Frontiers 1900/2000 Nikolaus Wasmoen, Department of English 10/26/10
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Genre is a very common term that people use when describing various types of literature, but what does the word actually mean? You can simply apply the “so-called” dictionary definition of the word genre; a category of artistic, musical, or literary composition characterized by a particular style, form, or content, but this definition is very vague leaving too much interpretation to be done by the reader. This can cause mixed thoughts of different types of literature depending who is analyzing the work. This vague definition of genre has caused genre to be studied and analyzed by many literary experts, each coming up with their own definition of the term so that you can apply specific genres to various pieces of literature and better understand the work. One possible way to think about genre is to think that genre is a way of figuring out what you expect to get from communication, and regulations that will let you distinguish what you are processing, how to process it, and what is a proper response. In the case of electronic literature, you are not just asked to read basic texts and react to them, but the genre requires you to have an interactive role in determining the various outputs of the piece of literature. Mikhail Bakhtin’s definition of genre related to language. He studied genre and came to a conclusion that genre was studied only in the areas of rhetoric and literature, whereas the enormous ocean of extraliterary genres from which those two disciplines have drawn their forms has remained unexplored. He also concluded that there are primary genres that legislate permissible locutions in lived life, and secondary genres made up out of these that constitute not only literary but all other text types as well. Bakhtin also states that genres are constructed with words not as they exist in the system he calls language, but rather as they are present in communication. (Bakhtin) This can apply to genre in a variety of different ways and can be
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applied to countless number of works when defining the genre of a piece of literature. Bakhtin could be talking about the communication between the people in the actual written literature, such as the dialogue, to define the genre. He could also mean how a certain piece of literature informs the reader of some kind of information, such as the writing done in textbooks and research papers. With a new type of literature, electronic literature, becoming more popular, Bakhtin can have his definition of genre mean how the reader is required to interact, or communicate, with the piece of literature that he/she is currently reading. Electronic literature is becoming one of the more popular types of literature as the
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This note was uploaded on 11/22/2010 for the course WRT 105 taught by Professor Wake during the Fall '08 term at Rochester.

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Final Draft - Defining to Understand Genre - Defining to...

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