Genre, Genre Theory

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

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The French term “genre” is derived from the same Latin root as “general”, “genus”, “gender”, “genesis”, “generate”, “genius” and “gene”. In modern French, as well as meaning “literary genre”, it also means “of the same sort”, “kind”, “gender”, especially linguistically, and “genus”, biological kind. Etymologically and pragmatically the word originates in the idea of discerning a broader pattern or category in elementary phenomena. In the sphere of texts and communications, genre might be said to be a recognised pattern of discourse, a tacit or explicit convention about what kinds of words and representations belong together. At the level of everyday communication there exist such genres as “speeches”, “informal conversations”,…

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Citation: Cobley, Paul. "Genre, Genre Theory". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 31 October 2005 [, accessed 20 May 2024.]

464 Genre, Genre Theory 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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