Our brains are biochemically hard-wired to recognise familiar patterns almost instantaneously. A staggering amount of parallel processing goes into this, making the human brain extremely efficient at pattern recognition.

This skill is a survival instinct. Anything that is not like us is a possible threat. When you're in a book store, sneaking through the aisles, sniffing the air, hunting down that perfect new book to knock on the spine and drag back to your reading cave (complete with leather pitted chairs, banker's lamp and smoking jacket), there are a lot of possible kills to be made. Hundreds. Thousands. You need a method to quickly sort out the areas that most interest you. Book covers are one. Genre sections are another.

Genre classification as a subject for discussion heats up every so often around the net, and it's happening again. I think it's worth discussing, if only to remind us that the labels we attach to things are not the things themselves. And that snobbery is an attribute to be looked down upon.

If you're all not absolutely spent from the heated battles out there, please do chime in over here. But only if you think I'm actually making a point. I mean, I've barely slept.

Again.

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I really like the way Stephen King presents himself, at least in what I've read. The book On Writing Horror has a speech he gave at an award ceremony and I think he had some great views on genre, summarised by that quote you have up there.

I'm not sure that we can or should separate business entirely from art, but as long as we follow our hearts ... damn, that's sounding a little too Doris Day for me.

But you get my point. I agree with yours. :)
Hey, I love Doris Day. I still get all choked up when she sings Que Sera, Sera in Hitchcock's American version of The Man Who Knew Too Much. :)
I'll be at the other end of the bar, drinking heavily.
Snob!
Snob if you do, snob if you don't.

Where's my Beam and beer?
Hey, I already served you. Didn't you get the memo?

Drinks are here.
Our brains are biochemically hard-wired to recognise familiar patterns almost instantaneously. A staggering amount of parallel processing goes into this, making the human brain extremely efficient at pattern recognition.

This skill is a survival instinct. Anything that is not like us is a possible threat.


But isn't the ability to break out of that animal unconsciousness, the ability to rise above instinctive distrust of the Other, what makes us fully human?
I think it's worth discussing, if only to remind us that the labels we attach to things are not the things themselves.

Definitely. And logic is not something that comes naturally, it has to be taught and practised. Being aware that we're self aware doesn't mean anything if we don't think about it.

Actually, I just tried thinking about it. It's Friday over here and I think I need a drink.
Hey, I thought we were supposed to be having a serious discussion here.

BTW, are there any single chicks in this bar?

Wanna dance?
Classification is a marketing tool. My book Sacred Cows had "a mystery" slapped on the front of it, but when it came out in paperback it said "a novel," indicating that somewhere along the line it had transformed itself into something perhaps "higher" than a lowly mystery. Why? Marketing. It's the same damn book.

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