Literary genre

The concept of the genus assigns literary works in terms of content or form of certain groups. The new genus system with its classic tripartite division goes back to Aristotle's Poetics, which started Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The literature can be divided accordingly into the von Goethe called "nature's forms," ​​said United genres epic, poetry and drama. Newer models call in addition to these three genera often the non-fiction or non-fiction texts as a fourth group. Within the drama in turn often comedy and tragedy are considered as basic genres.

Also working groups that formed traditions, each with distinctive features in the course of literary history are often referred to as genres, such as the picaresque novel, the wit, the bourgeois tragedy or the fairy tale novel. In some cases, the use of prose or verse is seen as a basic feature of a generic system. Factual texts occur in this system as " use prose " on.

Since the generic term is used at different levels and therefore is inaccurate and does not provide differentiation for many literary traditions of modern times, is also spoken often of the genus or Geno, genre, text type and text type. The genus determination of a text is done in such a way that typical formal aspects of a tradition piece are compared with other ( generic question ). If there are matches, so it may be assumed that the compared pieces of the same genus belong.


Generic concepts and options of poetry and literary criticism

The most important place of statements about the genera until well into the 18th century, the implicit poetics - Works who taught their own pretense after about the rules in poetry. Customers of these works should be the authors of poetic works ( so numerous prefaces ). You should here for instructions on how they should work in the genera. Of less concern, however, was the naming of genera on the covers of novels and dramas. The customer poetic works were far more accurate information about what they bought. In the short- breaks of the acts on the covers, in statements to the reading experience, the text of the permit, in information about the style in which the author wrote Title pages were extensively on all these points, who said much more than a generic term could say.

Between poetics and poetic works teamed throughout a gulf on: poetics, although listed, are drawn as tragedies and comedies - on the market, however, consisted largely unregulated one game of the genre, the learned author, by pursuing the ongoing production. Poetics and their statements to genera published by contrast viewpoints of scholarship. Their task was effective criticism of the current, to the specifications hardly entertaining production.

The criticism opened up with the genera and flexible to their existing information options by which they could respond to current works: pieces could

  • Comply with the rules of the genera and therefore be good
  • Be bad, even though they complied with the rules,
  • Be bad because they ( so slavishly ) followed rules, instead of proving poetic talent, they could not last less
  • Be good because they violated the rules, and a poetic genius followed.

The criticism itself was split between partisans who einklagten a modification of the genus canons and critics, who demanded a return to a classic genre system.

During the 17th and 18th century poetics defended the idea that the individual species are in principle to be understood according to rules that prevailed in the literature of the 19th century, a historicization of the genus canons and cultural differentiation through: the theory that the generic structure of a variety of cultural and historical occurrences found. The literary criticism of the 19th century opened this relativization spaces: works could now follow the conventions of a time or culture - or hurt them, which could be connect from now on with the idea of ​​progress and reflections of the history of literature. Works were " antiquated " or " imitative " old conventions of the genre to be committed, they could gain " classicism " by traditional lifestyles, they could in the eyes of critics abroad and foreign models follow or subject, as well as with old specifications as part of new " movements "break" and " currents. The literature review presented in the same moment to discuss how the work discussed in the literature filed - within the exchange, now created the literature.

The microstructure of the genera in Transition

The range of currently being negotiated by the literature literary genres was formed largely in the 19th century out. This was preceded by the present spectrum of literary genres of the poetic genres that came with the late 17th century in an intense discussion. In France, edited by Nicolas Boileau poetics dominated the scholarly discussion in the German language gained momentum in the 1730s, Johann Christoph Gottscheds attempt to Critische poetry before the Germans (Leipzig 1730) a greater importance with the demand for a return to the schema of the genera according to Aristotle.

The calls to return to the Aristotelian genus spectrum, were from the beginning marked by a sharp confrontation with the current market. Attacks drew especially the opera itself, as the high drama of modernity was under authors of the late 17th and early 18th century in the room. The debate thrust of the first half of the 18th century moved the opera successfully from the poetry discussion - it is more closely associated since the history of music. A second discussion thrust began in the middle of the 18th century and led to a break with the Aristotelian Poetics: With the bourgeois tragedy, the position of the ancient tragedy in the genus scheme has been relativized: the modern tragedy was unlike that of the ancient well in prose, the language of so far "lower" level of style, be written. At the same time the law of the case, the amount of the tragic hero was repealed by the new tragedy: the hero or heroine of a tragedy could now be even bourgeois state.

Redefining the field of drama had mid-18th century influence on the field of epic. So far, here was a vacuum: The epic of antiquity knew a high and a satirical genus - in modernity, heroic epics had almost only can still find in the panegyric. Beginning of the 18th century had been temporarily debating whether the novel was not the epic of modernity - the publication of François Fenelon's Telemachus ( 1699/1700 ) put the thought near: Fenelon's novel competed with the epics of Homer and Virgil and surpassed by this general view in the sense of style, as in the respect of class rules; Telemachus was missing only the writing in verse. The novel ended up staying still outside the spectrum of poetic genres, as Fenelon work clearly remained an exception. This situation changed in the moment in which the bourgeois tragedy middle of the 18th century was recognized as a full-fledged tragedy. The works of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing showed the novel Samuel Richardson committed. If Sarah Sampson was a tragedy, the novels of the present were the corresponding epic production. The novel left out the field of dubious histories and moved to the poetic genres, the new designation was awarded in the coming decades: field, he was the field of literary genres.

The 19th century brought classical redivision of the field in dramatic, epic and lyric genres. ( "Poetry" was in English and other surrounding languages ​​of the umbrella term for all of the smaller genera in bound language. ) The field of drama expanded with the farce and melodrama of popular genres, the field of narrative genres advanced with the amendment, the story and the short story to unbound small genera.

The discourse on the genera, previously the domain of poetics was task field of literary history. This confessed to the cultures and epochs own genus spectra. Speaking of genera lost in the same moment contour, as of now were defined on any variant of genres. Scientific literature work bundled as desired plants and created this genera such as the Arthurian romances, the minstrel poetry or theater of the absurd. Another discourse on genres and modes allowed the more detailed views of the evolving market and the flexible analysis of the market situation.

Current interests in a definition of the genera

A new interest in the old genus debate came up with the Russian formalism and emanating from it diversifications of structuralism in the 20th century. The question was and still is here, if not passed, regardless of the flexibility that had been made ​​in speaking about genres, scientifically definable categories. Influential was here, among others, Jacques Derrida, who pointed out that the characteristic of literary texts is precisely the transgression of the set by a normative genus doctrine limits the opening that texts probably " participate " to genres, them but not " belong ". Wellek and Warren had described earlier literary genres as " institutional imperatives ", although forced on the poet exercised, however, would also itself shaped by him.

The ensuing debate here proved to be fruitful in bridging exercises in linguistics and linguistic theory text. Modern directions of the computer philology assume today that the automatic speech recognition could one day be in a position to recognize literary ways of speaking. A possibly new structure of textual production of texts or, more conventionally, in genera would then happen automatically using statistical methods such as PCA. The resulting species could be named and used by man. A genus would be rather a dimension, and a text at the same time could belong to different genera. Similar efforts are already in the music, where songs from a genus or stylistics (see style in music) can then be transformed into another. From a jazz piece is a classic opera, a symphony of a pop song.

In a slightly different interest in the genera is in contrast to the historical oriented branches of literature, science and the history of the book and the research fields of the New Historicism: Here are particularly interested in conditions of production, reception attitudes of the public, arrangements in exchange between the attacks and the evolving book market and stage use. The types and genres of interest here as concepts that came into range of the goods and will be addressed by their expectations and take place confrontations between authors, critics and readers.