Archive for January 31st, 2009

January 31, 2009

Talking about genre

I was talking to a friend recently about Neil Gaiman’s Stardust. He’s just seen the movie and claimed to be disappointed in it because it was “too literally a fairytale”. Now I think the book (which he hasn’t read yet) is far superior to the movie but I like the film anyway. It has a brilliant cast and it’s sweet and funny and quirky and you know exactly where it’s going to go.

…which is why it’s a fairytale, of course. So when S and I talked about it, I found myself saying “he can only go as far as the genre allows”. And then I was rather annoyed with myself.

I need to find a language that speaks of the limits of genre without calling them the limits of genre. Has anyone? Where do I start looking?