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?

2 Comments to “Talking about genre”

  1. I did see Star Dust a while ago, and really liked the movie. I’m yet to read the book, but I think Claire Danes looked majorly like a babe in it.

    Incidentally, the ending credits has a song by ‘Take That’, which, eons ago, was a band I really liked.

  2. When a writer writes, he is knowingly or unknowingly aware of the laws or dynamics governing the “fictional world” he creates. (As in, he knows that a fairy cannot suddenly appear in a noir amidst gritty characters during a murder investigation).

    To say that every genre is a universe in itself and has its own set of laws will be a bit too much…becuase fusions are always possible, but this reply is solely based on the assumption that a genre is complete in itself. So I think a writer can go as far as the laws of the fictional universe that he is in permits! (With’laws’, which is a loose word-use here, I mean each and every situation that takes place ‘in’, ‘between’ or ‘around’ the characters)

    Will this help?

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