Saturday, May 5, 2012

Classifying Literature like Shakespeare

I've always been fascinated by literary genres.

Genre writing (and reading) serves as the bastard son to "serious" literature (that's pompously pronounced lit-re-choor, if you're trying to read this aloud).

What would happen instead, if we threw out Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller, Romance, and instead we divided all novels the way we divide Shakespeare's plays: comedy, tragedy, history.

There will be blends, of course. Richard II walks the line of tragedy, and The Merchant of Venice is a black comedy.

Where would your favorite genre books fall?

Watchmen is a tragedy, The Lord of the Rings must be a history through there's a fair amount of comedy, and Patrick Rothfuss' Kingslayer Trilogy is headed towards tragedy (though, with the third book still to be released, and with plenty of comic moments, it could end in comedy territory, but I doubt it).

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