Genres, Pigeonholes, and Pigeons

Genres are less like pigeon-holes than like pigeons. Constantly moving, endlessly diverse, and always multiplying.

–Ken Brown on Facebook paraphrasing Carol Newsome’s quote from Alistair Fowler

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  • Thanks James. It comes from Newsom’s excellent essay “Spying Out the Land: A Report from Genology.” Fowler’s book is also great, by the way, despite the bland title: Kinds of Literature.

    Oh, and in case the “endlessly diverse” comment isn’t clear from your picture: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAC5se2EO24 An allusion to Darwin’s pigeons may or may not have been intentional, but there is certainly something evolutionary about the development of genres.

    • I thought about making a connection with evolution when I quoted you!

  • I concur.