The Discourse of Genres

“The process of linking particular utterances to generic models thus necessarily produces an intertextual gap. Although the creation of this hiatus is unavoidable, its relative suppression or foregrounding has important effects. On the one hand, texts framed in some genres attempt to achieve generic transparency by minimizing the distance between texts and genres, thus rendering the discourse maximally interoperable through the use of generic precedents. This approach sustains highly conservative, traditionalizing modes of creating textual authority. On the other hand, maximizing and highlighting these intertextual gaps underlies strategies for building authority through claims of individual creativity and innovation (such as are common in 20th-century Western literature), resistance to the hegemonic structures associated with established genres, and other motives for distancing oneself from textual precedents.”

Briggs & Bauman, ‘Genre, Intertextuality, and Social Power’, in Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 2.2 1992

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Where is the object we study?

The problem of what we should focus our attention on lies in the simple and easy access to representations.

“Beliefs and desires are the basis of every society, because they are flows and as such are “quantifiable”; they are veritable social Quantities, whereas sensations are qualitative and representations are simple resultants.”
Deleuze & Guattari; A Thousand Plateaus, 1933: Micropolitics & Segmentarity, p241