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3.16 of 5 stars 3.16  ·  rating details  ·  31 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Genre is a key means by which we categorize the many forms of literature and culture. But it is also much more than that: in talk and writing, in music and images, in film and television, genres actively generate and shape our knowledge of the world. Understanding genre as a dynamic process rather than a set of stable rules, this book explores:

the relation of simple to com...more
Hardcover, 171 pages
Published November 14th 2005 by Routledge (first published September 19th 2005)
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A solid theoretical view of the idea of genre and generic classing systems is offered here by John Frow. For those reading this who have no idea who John Frow is he is a professor at Melbourne University (which I do not attend by the way but could have if I'd wished). Either way this book is an insightful look into the theory of genre.

Frow's overall argument is that genre is not limited to merely looking at entertainment forms such as books, films or music items. He argues that genres and generi...more
I somehow decided this would be a good book to teach to my students, which is probably not entirely accurate. I think the book is, in places, a little too academic for classroom purposes-- there's a lot of building arguments from arguments made elsewhere and I think some of that might go right over my students' heads. And it's tricky stuff, this genre business.....

What I did is isolate three chapters-- three, five, and six-- that I think are most teachable, and while I'll review that decision th...more
This book’s central task is the reframing of the text-genre relationship, arguing that texts “do not ‘belong’ to genres but are, rather, uses of them” (2). Genres function by “mediat[ing] between a social situation” of a reader embedded in real and literary contexts, “and the text which realises certain features of this situation, or which responds strategically to its demands” (14). Rather than reading genre simply to categorize “where a text ‘belongs,’” Frow argues, “we read… for those layers...more
Ben Eldridge
Theoretically busy, and entirely readable, John Frow's text is pretty much the definitive presentation of contemporary work on genre. His argument arises from the post-structuralist paradigm and he seems to run two parallel arguments: genre is an embedded social discourse (i.e. every act of communication is generically coded), and fictional texts are 'performances of genre' which are historically changing values. It's very hard to disagree with his argument - the only real trouble is the broadne...more
Benjamin De lee
Useful introduction--but not sure how accurate it is for ancient or medieval literature.
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