Posts tagged ‘Genre’

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

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.

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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 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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September 13, 2013

Kirk/Spock

kirk spock

Kirk/Spock (K/S) refers to the pairing of James T. Kirk and Spock from ‘Star Trek’ in slash fiction (erotic fan fiction), possibly the first slash pairing according to media scholar Henry Jenkins. Early on, a few fan writers started speculating about the possibility of a sexual relationship between Kirk and Spock, adding a romantic or a ‘sexual element’ to the friendship between the men.

As of 1998, ‘most’ academic studies on slash focused on Kirk/Spock, as ‘Star Trek’ was one of the most accessible titles for academics and their audience, and as the first slash pairing, K/S was developed independently from the influence of other slash fiction.

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August 9, 2013

Bad Girl Art

Bad girl art is a superheroines art form genre coined after the analogy of ‘good girl art’ (‘girl art’ that is ‘good’) which also includes strong female characters in comic books. Bad girls are typically tough and violent superheroines.

While the ‘good’ in ‘good girl art’ refers to the art itself, the ‘bad’ in ‘bad girl art’ refers to the girls: anti-heroine characters, often portrayed as cruel, mercenary, or demonic, although it may also be intended to reflect on the crude mannerisms and exaggerated anatomy of the drawing style associated with those characters. While Good Girl Art was common in the 1940s and 1950s, Bad Girl Art arose in the comic book market of the 1980s and 1990s. During the heyday of the style, some 50 titles within the subgenre were being published, with ‘Lady Death’ as the best selling title.

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August 9, 2013

Good Girl Art

Good girl art (GGA) is found in drawings or paintings which feature a strong emphasis on attractive women no matter what the subject or situation. GGA was most commonly featured in comic books, pulp magazines and crime fiction. When cited as an art movement, it is usually capitalized as Good Girl Art.

The term describes the work of illustrators skilled at creating sexy female figure art; it is ‘girl art’ which is ‘good.’ Popular culture historian Richard A. Lupoff defined it as: ‘A cover illustration depicting an attractive young woman, usually in skimpy or form-fitting clothing, and designed for erotic stimulation. The term does not apply to the morality of the ‘good girl,’ who is often a gun moll, tough cookie or wicked temptress.’

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June 6, 2013

Inscape

Psychological Morphology by Roberto Matta

Inscape, in visual art, is a term especially associated with certain works of Chilean artist Roberto Matta, but it is also used in other senses within the visual arts. Though the term has been applied to stylistically diverse artworks, it usually conveys some notion of representing the artist’s psyche as a kind of interior landscape. The word inscape can therefore be read as a kind of portmanteau, combining interior (or inward) with landscape.

According to Professor Claude Cernuschi, Matta’s use of the term inscape for a series of landscape-like abstract or surrealist paintings reflects ‘the psychoanalytic view of the mind as a three-dimensional space: the ‘inscape.” The ‘inscape’ concept is particularly apt for Matta’s works of the late 1930s. As art historian Dawn Ades writes, ‘A series of brilliant oil paintings done during the years of his [Matta’s] first association with the Surrealists explore visual metaphors for the mental landscape.’

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June 6, 2013

Biomorphism

Marc Newson

Biomorphism is an art movement that began in the 20th century. It models artistic design elements on naturally occurring patterns or shapes reminiscent of nature.

Taken to its extreme it attempts to force naturally occurring shapes onto functional devices, often with mixed results.

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