Genre in the Marketplace

  • Claire Squires


Of the link between reading and writing in his communications circuit, Darnton put it that:

The reader completes the circuit because he influences the author both before and after the act of composition. Authors are readers themselves. By reading and associating with other readers and writers, they form notions of genre and style and a general sense of the literary enterprise, which affects their texts.1

Genre, then, is a crucial component in the marketplace, as it is one of the primary means by which authors and readers communicate, and one of the methods by which both writing and reading can be studied in their publishing contexts. The philosopher Benedetto Croce, writing on aesthetics in 1902, refuted the theoretical separation of literature into genre categories, seeing the only use of such divisions as practical, indeed purely physical:

The books in a library must be arranged in one way or another. This used generally to be done by a rough classification of subjects […]; they are now generally arranged by sizes or by publishers. Who can deny the necessity and the utility of such arrangements? But what should we say if someone began seriously to seek out the literary laws of […] those altogether arbitrary groupings whose sole object was their practical utility?


Publishing Industry Ground Floor Front Cover Back Cover Genre Category 
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© Claire Squires 2007

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  • Claire Squires

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