Genre Blending

I just read the introduction to Margot Singer and Nicole Walker, Bending Genre where the authors talk about the nature of Creative Non-fiction in terms of how used techniques from other writerly disciplines such as fiction, poetry and journalism.

Then I asked myself these questions:

  • What different kinds of genre-mixing are identified?
    Every mixture imaginable is regarded as fair game in the arena of genre-mixing. Think of a genre, think of another genre (no matter how dissimilar), put them in a (metaphorical) jar and shake until your arm hurts. Then put down your pen, kick back from the desk and make yourself a nice hot drink in the happy satisfaction that you have created something wonderful.
  • Why might a writer pursue the kind of experiments with form that are discussed here?
    Experiments with form require nothing more than the flexibility of mind to conceive of a unique combination and then begin to write. A truly innovative writer who wishes to push the boundaries of the possible would not ask ‘why should I do this,’ but would, and if not, should, be asking ‘what is stopping me from trying this?’ And the answer is: nothing but fear. Feel it; shiver; and shake it off.
  • What appears to be at stake?
    The future beckons. Let it be a new future; not one bound to the grease and grime of yesteryear. Throw off the shackles of those who would say that you can’t do it like that. Those who say that history repeats are cowards. Shrug off their kind-seeming arm on your shoulder; clean your ears of the sane-sounding poison they drip into your ears; and move forward into a future that you yourself will shape. Nothing less than the future history of literature waits for you. Make it one that all readers in the years to come will be proud of.


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