Literary kinds ‘may be regarded as institutional imperatives which both coerce and are in turn coerced by the writer’.
Theory of genres is a principle of order: it classifies literature and literary history not by time or place but by specifically literary types of organization or structure. The judgement of a poem, for example, involves appeal to one’s total experience and conception, desciptive and normative, of poetry.
Do genres remain fixed? Presumably non. Whith the addition of new works, our categories shift. Aristotel and Horace are our classical texts for genre theory. From them, we think of tragedy and the characteristic kinds. Most modern literary theory would be inclined to scrap the prose-poetry distinction and then to divide imaginative literature into fiction, drama, and poetry.…
Enter an email address where the link will be sent:
Link to paper: