Nomadic Genre Studies: Genre as Metatext Cover Image

Genologia nomadyczna: gatunek jako metatekst
Nomadic Genre Studies: Genre as Metatext

Author(s): Wojciech Kalaga
Subject(s): Literary Texts
Published by: Instytut Badań Literackich Polskiej Akademii Nauk
Keywords: nomadic genre studies; literary genre

Summary/Abstract: Traditional “literary genetics” or generic studies endeavour to categorize and classify works of literature into taxonomies which are always already too narrow to accommodate works escaping clear-cut criteria. Such studies generally rely on the principle of literary evolution and progress, and exclude or are unable to account for phenomena which escape that principle. In opposition to approaches which posit genre as an imposed classificatory category, this paper first poses the ontological question concerning the mode of existence of the literary genre, and then proposes to consider genre as an open metatext emerging as a result of the performative, metatextual activity of literary texts. The ontological principle of genre is thus becoming, stipulated by the performative activity of texts, the activity itself relying on the interplay of repetition and difference. Such an approach opens ground for nomadic genre studies which, instead of aiming at taxonomic classifications, would search for cultural, ideological, philosophical, anthropological and literary factors of the emergence of genres, and treat them as hybrid “densities of sense” rather than a priori categories.

  • Issue Year: 2012
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 175-188
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: Polish