Long ago, when I was all hopped up on little sleep and theory readings, I tried to write a paper making the case that the most important genre marker of science fiction was not the nova that it introduces but the way it teaches the reader to read it as it goes. Now, I still sort of like that idea, but it’s too common in all texts to really work. I think my professor’s comment was something that boiled down to, “this is a very good paper, A, but the idea doesn’t make sense, don’t try to publish this.” Fair.
I’m telling you that because the way that a text shows you how to read it, and how to read the genre it is in, means a lot to me. And I think it’s important generally as well. I’ve written on genre a few times before, most recently in using genre theory to evaluate magic texts. But here, I want to talk about an experience I had with a novel and the general idea of reading using genre.Continue reading “Reading Genre: Hardboiled Fiction and Me”