Gaiman On ‘Genre’

Yes, yes, I’m sure everyone is already well aware that I worship at the house that Gaiman built, but yesterday at the Writer’s Meeting Charmi said something about letting something come out however it must, whether it be in prose, creative non-fiction, poetry, whatever…and it made me think of this little line from an interview with him at the end of Fragile Things.

“I respect anyone that sails their particular ship wherever it needs to go, into any genre, any place that the story needs to be.”

Nothing overtly profound, but it’s a great vocalization of that same idea. I always think it’s funny that many great artists have worked in all manner of media, from graphite and charcoal to ink, oil paintings, clay, whatever…and yet writers have always seemed to be to be oddly organized into little boxes….a poet, a novelist, a sci-fi novelist, a dark poet, a funny poet…sometimes they can break these molds but it feels like we trap ourselves sometimes, or allow ourselves to be trapped…it’s something to keep in mind I think.

There’s certainly something to be said of course about being in love with a genre, mastering a particular craft and so forth, and I wouldn’t ever think less of someone who so simply enthralled with a particular genre or medium that they never move outside of it. The freedom of this all is what’s so sacred to me. For every person oogly over the Mona Lisa as the end all be all of art, there’s someone who sees the necessity of someone painting a portrait of the virgin Mary out of human feces. We’re allowed to do what works for us, even if no-one else ever ‘gets it’.

/ramble off.

Happy Spring Break everyone!


2 thoughts on “Gaiman On ‘Genre’”

  1. I like that. A while back I had this whole experience of giving birth and having had a c-section, and then the trauma that came after all of that and I tried and tried to write a poem about but I was never able to do it. It came out sounding like bad prose…so eventually I took W350 and wrote an essay about it. It was definitley essay material.

    I like to write essays, that’s maybe my other genera, but I haven’t found the way in which to do that on a regular basis the way a poem can be written.

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