Posts tagged ‘Genre’

July 4, 2016

Flat Design

skeuomorph

ios7

Flat design is a minimalist user interface design genre, or design language, commonly used in graphical user interfaces (such as web applications and mobile apps), and in graphical materials such as posters, arts, guide documents, and publishing products.

Flat design is a style of interface design emphasizing minimum use of stylistic elements that give the illusion of three dimensions (such as the use of drop shadows, gradients or textures) and is focused on simple elements, typography and flat colors. Designers may prefer flat design because it allows interface designs to be more streamlined and efficient. It is easier to quickly convey information while still looking visually appealing and approachable.

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December 3, 2015

Honky-tonk

gilleys

urban cowboy

The term honky-tonk has been applied to various styles of 20th century American music. A honky-tonk a type of bar that provides country music for entertainment to its patrons. Bars of this kind are common in the Southern and Southwestern regions of the US, and many country music legends, such as Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, Patsy Cline, and Ernest Tubb began their careers as amateur musicians in honky-tonks.

Honky tonks were rough establishments that served alcoholic beverages to a working class clientele, and sometimes offered dancing, piano players, or small bands. Some were local hubs of underground prostitution. Dance researcher Katrina Hazzard-Gordon writes that the honky-tonk was ‘the first urban manifestation of the ‘jook” (‘juke joints,’ African American roadhouses and bars). Honky tonk originally referred to bawdy variety shows in the West and to the theaters housing them. The distinction between honky tonks, saloons and dancehalls was often blurred, especially in cowtowns, mining districts, military forts, and oilfields.

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October 9, 2015

Alternative Newspaper

citypaper

Seattle Stranger by Raymond Biesinger

An alternative newspaper is a type of newspaper that eschews comprehensive coverage of general news in favor of stylized reporting, opinionated reviews and columns, investigations into edgy topics, and magazine-style feature stories highlighting local people and culture.

Its news coverage is more locally focused and their target audiences younger than those of daily newspapers. Typically, alternative newspapers are published in tabloid format and printed on newsprint. Most metropolitan areas of the United States and Canada are home to at least one alternative paper.

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September 30, 2015

Edisonade

Steam Man of the Prairies

Edisonade is a modern term, coined in 1993 by John Clute in his and Peter Nicholls’ ‘The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction,’ for fictional stories about a brilliant young inventor and his inventions. This subgenre started in the Victorian and Edwardian eras and had its apex of popularity during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and was common in ‘scientific romance,’ an archaic term for the genre of fiction now known as ‘science fiction.’

The term ‘Edisonade’ originated in the 1850s to describe both fiction and elements of scientific writing, but has since come to refer to the science fiction of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, primarily that of Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, and Arthur Conan Doyle. In recent years, the term has come to be applied to science fiction written in a deliberately anachronistic style, as a homage to or pastiche of the original scientific romances.

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November 4, 2014

Commedia dell’arte

masks

three musicians by picasso

Commedia [kuh-mey-dee-uh] dell’arte [del-ahr-tee]  is a form of improvisational theater that began in Italy in the 16th century. The actors often wore masks and the stories were often about the cunning pursuit of love, money, or simply food. The genre developed several stock characters that represent fixed social types, such as foolish old men, devious servants, or military officers full of false bravado including Harlequin (comic servant), Pantalone (rich old miser), Colombina (tricky slave wife), Pulcinella (disfigured trickster), Pierrot (unrequited clown), and Scaramuccia (roguish clown).

Stock characters can be divided into three groups, ‘Innamorati’ (‘The Lovers,’ who are never masked nor well developed as characters), ‘Vecchi’ (‘The Old People,’ often the Lovers’ parents, who get in the way of their romance), and ‘Zanni’ (‘The Servants/ Commoners,’ always hungry, and often responsible for the Lovers finding their way to the altar). Characters such as Pantalone, the Venetian merchant; Dottore Gratiano, the pedant from Bologna; or Arlecchino, the mischievous servant from Bergamo, began as satires on Italian ‘types’ and became the archetypes of many of the favorite characters of 17th- and 18th-century European theater.

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July 23, 2014

Picaresque Novel

Ignatius Reilly by Julia Sarda

The picaresque [pik-uh-resknovel (Spanish:’picaresca,’ from ‘pícaro,’ for ‘rogue’ or ‘rascal’) is a popular subgenre of prose fiction which might sometimes be satirical and depicts, in realistic and often humorous detail, the adventures of a roguish hero of low social class who lives by his wits in a corrupt society. This style of novel originated in 16th-century Spain and flourished throughout Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. The word ‘picaro’ does not appear in ‘Lazarillo de Tormes’ (1554), the novella credited with founding the genre. The expression ‘picaresque novel’ was coined in 1810.  The genre continues to influence modern literature.

Picaresque novels are usually written in first person as an autobiographical account. A Lazarillo or picaro character is an alienated outsider, whose ability to expose and ridicule individuals compromised with society gives him a revolutionary stance. Lazarillo states that the motivation for his writing is to communicate his experiences of overcoming deception, hypocrisy, and falsehood (desengaño).

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June 2, 2014

Menippean Satire

voltaire by Dylan Meconis

The genre of Menippean [meh-nip-pee-uhnsatire is a form of satire (ridicule of foolishness and moral failings), usually in prose, which has a length and structure similar to a novel and is characterized by attacking mental attitudes instead of specific individuals. Other features found in Menippean satire are different forms of parody and mythological burlesque (humorous caricatures of the gods), a critique of the myths inherited from traditional culture, a rhapsodic nature, a fragmented narrative, the combination of many different targets, and the rapid moving between styles and points of view.

The term is used by classical grammarians and by philologists mostly to refer to satires in prose. Typical mental attitudes attacked and ridiculed by Menippean satires are ‘pedants, bigots, cranks, parvenus, virtuosi, enthusiasts, rapacious and incompetent professional men of all kinds,’ which are treated as diseases of the intellect. The term Menippean satire distinguishes it from the earlier satire pioneered by Aristophanes, which was based on personal attacks.

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May 13, 2014

Mirrors for Princes

cyropaedia

Machiavelli

Mirrors for princes refers to a genre of political writing during the Middle Ages (5th to the 15th century) and the Renaissance (14th to the 17th century). They are best known in the form of textbooks which directly instruct kings or lesser rulers on certain aspects of rule and behavior, but in a broader sense, the term is also used to cover histories or literary works aimed at creating images of kings for imitation or avoidance.

They were often composed at the accession of a new king, when a young and inexperienced ruler was about to come to power. They could be viewed as a species of self-help book. Possibly the best known European ‘mirror’ is ‘Il Principe’ (‘The Prince’) (c. 1513) by Machiavelli, although this was not a typical example.

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May 13, 2014

Wisdom Literature

proverbs

psalms

Wisdom literature is a genre of literature common to the Ancient Near East characterized by sayings of wisdom intended to teach about divinity and about virtue. While techniques of traditional storytelling are used, books also presume to offer insight and wisdom about nature and reality.

The genre of ‘mirrors for princes’ (textbooks which directly instruct monarchs on certain aspects of rule and behavior), which has a long history in Islamic and Western Renaissance literature, represents a secular cognate of biblical wisdom literature. In Classical Antiquity, the advice poetry of Hesiod, particularly his ‘Works and Days’ (ca. 700 BCE, a farmer’s almanac in which Hesiod instructs his brother Perses in the agricultural arts) has been seen as a like-genre to Near Eastern wisdom literature.

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April 22, 2014

Religious Satire

good omens

life of brian

Religious satire is a form of satire (humor that points out the shortcomings of institutions of power) targeted at religious beliefs. From the earliest times, at least since the plays of Aristophanes in the fourth century BCE, religion has been one of the three primary topics of literary satire, along with politics and sex. Satire which targets the clergy is a type of political satire, while religious satire is that which targets religious beliefs. It can be the result of agnosticism or atheism, but it can also have its roots in belief itself. According to religious theorist Robert Kantra, in religious satire, man attempts to violate the divine—it is an effort to play God, in whole or in part—whether under the banner of religion or of humanity. Religious satire surfaced during the Renaissance, with works by Chaucer, Erasmus, and Durer.

Religious satire has been criticised by those who feel that sincerely held religious views should not be subject to ridicule. Molière’s play ‘Tartuffe’ (about a hypocrite who feigns religious virtue) was banned in 1664. The 1979 film ‘Monty Python’s Life of Brian’ was initially banned in Ireland and Norway. In an interesting case of life mirroring art, activist groups who protested the film during its release bore striking similarities to some bands of religious zealots within the film itself. Like much religious satire, the intent of the film has been misinterpreted and distorted by protesters. According to the Pythons, ‘Life of Brian’ is not a critique of religion so much as an indictment of the hysteria and bureaucratic excess that often surrounds it.

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October 30, 2013

Slow TV

hurtigruten

iyule

Slow TV is a genre of live ‘marathon’ television coverage of an ordinary event in its complete length. Its name is derived both from the long endurance of the broadcast as well as from the natural slow pace of the television program’s progress. The concept is an modernization of artist Andy Warhol’s slow movie ‘Sleep’ from 1963, which showed poet John Giorno sleeping for six hours. The concept was adapted to local TV broadcast in 1966 by WPIX in NYC for a Christmastime ‘yule log’ (a looped film of a log burning in a fireplace, accompanied by classic Christmas music, broadcast without commercial interruption).

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October 8, 2013

Northern Soul

northern soul

wigan

Northern soul is a music and dance movement that emerged, initially in Northern England in the late 1960s, from the British mod scene (a youth subculture). Northern soul is devoted to American soul music based on the heavy beat and fast tempo of the mid-1960s Tamla Motown sound.

The movement, however, generally eschews Motown or Motown-influenced music that has met with significant mainstream success. The recordings most prized by enthusiasts of the genre are usually by lesser-known artists, and were initially released only in limited numbers, often by small regional United States labels such as Ric-Tic and Golden Records (Detroit), Mirwood (Los Angeles) and Shout and Okeh (New York/Chicago).

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