Genre Quotes

Quotes tagged as "genre" (showing 1-30 of 100)
Shannon Hale
“Personally, I believe “Young Adult” to be an arbitrary title that means the book "Can be enjoyed by anyone/Has a main character who’s not quite an adult/Isn’t really boring.”
Shannon Hale

Carlos Fuentes
“Don't classify me, read me. I'm a writer, not a genre.”
Carlos Fuentes

Vera Nazarian
“If Music is a Place -- then Jazz is the City, Folk is the Wilderness, Rock is the Road, Classical is a Temple.”
Vera Nazarian

Julio Cortázar
“An admirable line of Pablo Neruda’s, “My creatures are born of a long denial,” seems to me the best definition of writing as a kind of exorcism, casting off invading creatures by projecting them into universal existence, keeping them on the other side of the bridge… It may be exaggerating to say that all completely successful short stories, especially fantastic stories, are products of neurosis, nightmares or hallucination neutralized through objectification and translated to a medium outside the neurotic terrain. This polarization can be found in any memorable short story, as if the author, wanting to rid himself of his creature as soon and as absolutely as possible, exorcises it the only way he can: by writing it.”
Julio Cortázar, Around the Day in Eighty Worlds

Matt Haig
“There is only one genre in fiction, the genre is called book.”
Matt Haig, The Humans

H.P. Lovecraft
“A serious adult story must be true to something in life. Since marvel tales cannot be true to the events of life, they must shift their emphasis towards something to which they can be true; namely, certain wistful or restless moods of the human spirit, wherein it seeks to weave gossamer ladders of escape from the galling tyranny of time, space, and natural law.”
H.P. Lovecraft

Ted Chiang
“Science fiction is very well suited to asking philosophical questions; questions about the nature of reality, what it means to be human, how do we know the things that we think we know.”
Ted Chiang

Rosemary Clement-Moore
“Good writing is good writing. In many ways, it’s the audience and their expectations that define a genre. A reader of literary fiction expects the writing to illuminate the human condition, some aspect of our world and our role in it. A reader of genre fiction likes that, too, as long as it doesn’t get in the way of the story.”
Rosemary Clement-Moore

Kage Baker
“I don't think humanity just replays history, but we are the same people our ancestors were, and our descendants are going to face a lot of the same situations we do. It's instructive to imagine how they would react, with different technologies on different worlds. That's why I write science fiction -- even though the term 'science fiction' excites disdain in certain persons.”
Kage Baker

Julio Cortázar
“Skill alone cannot teach or produce a great short story, which condenses the obsession of the creature; it is a hallucinatory presence manifest from the first sentence to fascinate the reader, to make him lose contact with the dull reality that surrounds him, submerging him in another that is more intense and compelling.”
Julio Cortázar, Around the Day in Eighty Worlds

Alberto Manguel
“Unicorns, dragons, witches may be creatures conjured up in dreams, but on the page their needs, joys, anguishes, and redemptions should be just as true as those of Madame Bovary or Martin Chuzzlewit.”
Alberto Manguel, Dark Arrows: Great Stories of Revenge

E.T.A. Hoffmann
“There are... otherwise quite decent people who are so dull of nature that they believe that they must attribute the swift flight of fancy to some illness of the psyche, and thus it happens that this or that writer is said to create not other than while imbibing intoxicating drink or that his fantasies are the result of overexcited nerves and resulting fever. But who can fail to know that, while a state of psychical excitement caused by the one or other stimulant may indeed generate some lucky and brilliant ideas, it can never produce a well-founded, substantial work of art that requires the utmost presence of mind.”
E.T.A. Hoffmann, Die Serapions Brüder: Gesammelte Erzählungen Und Märchen In Vier Bänden

Norman Spinrad
“Cat Rambo: Where do you think the perennial debate between what is literary fiction and what is genre is sited?

Norman Spinrad: I think it’s a load of crap. See my latest column in Asimov’s, particularly re The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I detest the whole concept of genre. A piece of fiction is either a good story well told or it isn’t. The supposed dichotomy between “literary fiction” and “popular fiction” is ridiculous. Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Mailer, did not have serious literary intent? As writers of serious literary intent, they didn’t want to be “popular,” meaning sell a lot of books? They wanted to be unpopular and have terrible sales figures to prove they were “serious”?

I say this is bullshit and I say the hell with it. “Genre,” if it means anything at all, is a restrictive commercial requirement. “Westerns” must be set in the Old West. “Mysteries” must have a detective solving a crime, usually murder. “Nurse Novels” must have a nurse. And so forth.

In the strictly literary sense, neither science fiction nor fantasy are “genres.” They are anti-genres. They can be set anywhere and anywhen except in the mimetic here and now or a real historical period. They are the liberation of fiction from the constraints of “genre” in an absolute literary sense.”
Norman Spinrad
tags: genre

Anthony Horowitz
“As far as I'm concerned, you can't beat a good whodunnit: the twists and turns, the clues and the red herrings and then, finally, the satisfaction of having everything explained to you in a way that makes you kick yourself because you hadn't seen it from the start.”
Anthony Horowitz, Magpie Murders

Brandon Sanderson
“People don't read anymore. And, when they do, they don't read books like this one, but instead read books that depress them, because those books are seen as important. Somehow, the Librarians have successfully managed to convince most people in the Hushlands that they shouldn't read anything that isn't boring.

It comes down to Biblioden the Scrivener's great vision for the world — a vision in which people never do anything abnormal, never dream, and never experience anything strange. His minions teach people to stop reading fun books, and instead focus on fantasy novels. That's what I call them, because these books keep people trapped. Keep them inside the nice little fantasy that they consider to be the 'real' world. A fantasy that tells them they don't need to try something new.

After all, trying new things can be difficult.”
Brandon Sanderson, Alcatraz Versus the Scrivener's Bones

Foz Meadows
“How can so many (white, male) writers narratively justify restricting the agency of their female characters on the grounds of sexism = authenticity while simultaneously writing male characters with conveniently modern values?

The habit of authors writing Sexism Without Sexists in genre novels is seemingly pathological. Women are stuffed in the fridge under cover of "authenticity" by secondary characters and villains because too many authors flinch from the "authenticity" of sexist male protagonists. Which means the yardstick for "authenticity" in such novels almost always ends up being "how much do the women suffer", instead of - as might also be the case - "how sexist are the heroes".

And this bugs me; because if authors can stretch their imaginations far enough to envisage the presence of modern-minded men in the fake Middle Ages, then why can't they stretch them that little bit further to put in modern-minded women, or modern-minded social values? It strikes me as being extremely convenient that the one universally permitted exception to this species of "authenticity" is one that makes the male heroes look noble while still mandating that the women be downtrodden and in need of rescuing.

-Comment at Staffer's Book Review 4/18/2012 to "Michael J. Sullivan on Character Agency ”
Foz Meadows

Fierce Dolan
“I write across several genres. I’m a slut for words. I can’t keep it in my literary pants.”
Fierce Dolan

Philip José Farmer
“The truth is that Trout, like Vonnegut and Ray Bradbury and many others, writes parables. These are set in frames which have become called, for no good reason, science fiction. A better generic term would be 'future fairy tales'. And even this is objectionable, since many science fiction stories take place in the present or the past, far and near.”
Philip José Farmer

Peter Straub
“From a tale one expects a bit of wildness, of exaggeration and dramatic effect. The tale has no inherent concern with decorum, balance or harmony. ... A tale may not display a great deal of structural, psychological, or narrative sophistication, though it might possess all three, but it seldom takes its eye off its primary goal, the creation of a particular emotional state in its reader. Depending on the tale, that state could be wonder, amazement, shock, terror, anger, anxiety, melancholia, or the momentary frisson of horror.”
Peter Straub, American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from Poe to the Pulps

Julio Cortázar
“The fantastic breaks the crust of appearance … something grabs us by the shoulders to throw us outside ourselves. I have always known that the big surprises await us where we have learned to be surprised by nothing, that is, where we are not shocked by ruptures in the order.”
Julio Cortázar, Around the Day in Eighty Worlds

Peter Straub
“Human beings across every culture I know about require such stories, stories with cool winds and wood smoke. They speak to something deep within us, the capacity to conceptualize, objectify and find patterns, thereby to create the flow of events and perceptions that find perfect expression in fiction. We are built this way, we create stories by reflex, unstoppably. But this elegant system really works best when the elements of the emerging story, whether is is being written or being read, are taken as literal fact. Almost always, to respond to the particulars of the fantastic as if they were metaphorical or allegorical is to drain them of vitality.”
Peter Straub, American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from Poe to the Pulps

Franz Rottensteiner
“Nevertheless, the potential and actual importance of fantastic literature lies in such psychic links: what appears to be the result of an overweening imagination, boldly and arbitrarily defying the laws of time, space and ordered causality, is closely connected with, and structured by, the categories of the subconscious, the inner impulses of man's nature. At first glance the scope of fantastic literature, free as it is from the restrictions of natural law, appears to be unlimited. A closer look, however, will show that a few dominant themes and motifs constantly recur: deals with the Devil; returns from the grave for revenge or atonement; invisible creatures; vampires; werewolves; golems; animated puppets or automatons; witchcraft and sorcery; human organs operating as separate entities, and so on. Fantastic literature is a kind of fiction that always leads us back to ourselves, however exotic the presentation; and the objects and events, however bizarre they seem, are simply externalizations of inner psychic states. This may often be mere mummery, but on occasion it seems to touch the heart in its inmost depths and become great literature.”
Franz Rottensteiner, The Fantasy Book: An Illustrated History From Dracula To Tolkien

Leigh Brackett
“Space opera, as every reader doubtless knows, is a pejorative term often applied to a story that has an element of adventure. Over the decades, brilliant and talented new writers appear, receiving great acclaim, and each and every one of them can be expected to write at least one article stating flatly that the day of space opera is over and done, thank goodness, and that henceforth these crude tales of interplanetary nonsense will be replaced by whatever type of story that writer happens to favor — closet dramas, psychological dramas, sex dramas, etc., but by God important dramas, containing nothing but Big Thinks. Ten years late, the writer in question may or may not still be around, but the space opera can be found right where it always was, sturdily driving its dark trade in heroes.”
Leigh Brackett, The Best of Planet Stories 1

Charles Nodier
“But if what interests you are stories of the fantastic, I must warn you that this kind of story demands more art and judgment than is ordinarily imagined.”
Charles Nodier

T.E.D. Klein
“Horror, let's face it, is basically pretty dumb. You're writing about events that are preposterous, and the trick is to dress them up in language so compelling that the reader doesn't care.”
T.E.D. Klein, Seeing Red

Roger Caillois
“It should be particularly stressed that the fantastic makes no sense in an out-and-out strange world. To imagine the fantastic in it is even impossible. In a world full of marvels the extraordinary loses its power.”
Roger Caillois, Au Coeur Du Fantastique

Lars Gustafsson
“The fantastic in literature doesn't exist as a challenge to what is probable, but only there where it can be increased to a challenge of reason itself: the fantastic in literature consists, when all has been said, essentially in showing the world as opaque, as inaccessible to reason on principle. This happens when Piranesi in his imagined prisons depicts a world peopled by other beings than those for which it was created. ("On the Fantastic in Literature")”
Lars Gustafsson

Franz Rottensteiner
“Fantastic literature has been especially prominent in times of unrest, when the older values have been overthrown to make way for the new; it has often accompanied or predicted change, and served to shake up rational Complacency, challenging reason and reminding man of his darker nature. Its popularity has had its ups and downs, and it has always been the preserve of a small literary minority. As a natural challenger of classical values, it is rarely part of a culture's literary mainstream, expressing the spirit of the age; but it is an important dissenting voice, a reminder of the vast mysteries of existence, sometimes truly metaphysical in scope, but more often merely riddling.”
Franz Rottensteiner, The Fantasy Book: An Illustrated History From Dracula To Tolkien

Julian Barnes
“Реализм: Заяц бежит быстрее Черепахи. Намного быстрее. И еще он сообразительней. Поэтому он побеждает. Рано или поздно. ОК?
Сентиментальный романтизм: Самодовольный заяц прикорнул у обочины, а нравственно устойчивая Черепаха ковыляет к финишу.
Сюрреализм (или рекламный ролик): Черепаха, снабженная роликовыми коньками и аккуратным рюкзачком из черной кожи, в солнцезащитных очках, легко мчит вперед, а оставленный позади зайчишка кусает себя за хвост.
Из частной переписки: Милый Пушистик, припусти вперед и дождись меня у изгороди. Я буду на месте как только мне удастся уйти от них. Не может быть, чтобы они гнались за
нами. Всегда твоя, Шелли.
Детская сказка новейшего времени (написана экс-хиппи): Заяц и Черепаха,
разочаровавшись в социальных и политических структурах, которые разжигают в обществе дух соперничества, покидают трассу и мирно доживают свои дни в убогой юрте, отказываясь давать интервью.
Лимерик: Жила была черепашка Стью\ Простая как ду-би-ду\ Любила покой и уют\ и
как-то свалилась в суп.
Пост-модернизм: Я, автор, написал эту книгу. Это чистый конструкт. Заяц и Черепаха на самом деле не существуют, надеюсь вы это понимаете?”
Julian Barnes, Love, Etc.

Rudyard Kipling
“His line was the jocundly-sentimental Wardour Street brand of adventure, told in a style that exactly met, but never exceeded, every expectation.”
Rudyard Kipling

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