What is Genre?
Genre refers to the term used in categorizing pieces of literature, art, or culture. The categories or classes involve may contain a certain technique, content, or style which make them different from one another.
The word “genre” has the same spelling in French and means “sort” or “kind”. In Greek terms, the spelling is “genos” and in Latin it’s “genus”, with both meaning a category of literary or art works. The basic concept of the classification system involved in the word “genre” was said to be pioneered by Aristotle and Plato. During their time, literature consists of three main genres or types and these are prose, drama, and poetry. Poetry meanwhile is classified into sub-categories or sub-genres like drama, epic, and lyric. These basic classifications were adapted by other people and somewhat became the standard in literature classification. Over time, various new categories and classifications were added to adapt to the ever-changing world of literature and art.
A person may first encounter genres or classifications of literary works when visiting a bookstore. Most bookstores arrange their books using some categories. Some arrange books alphabetically, or by author, while other stores have their books grouped according to “type” or “genre”. Common genres in books include romance, science fiction, travel books, school textbooks, technology, novels, religious material, and even self-help books. Through classifications by genre, it will be easier for some to find the right book or perhaps find the next best alternative in case the chosen book or title is not available.
Other than books, genres and classifications can also be applied to other things like works of art and music. Though many of todays literary and artworks may be classified into different genres, it is still a helpful idea to have these items grouped together for convenience and practicality reasons. Other writers also intend to have their works classified under one genre for marketing reasons.