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Why can’t it be a narrative parody with elements of fantasy?

TPB1988's picture

At the beginning of the course I remember being the one of the few to claim the necessity of genres and clarifications in the literary world. Although I still stand behind my statement I have realized that the way I viewed classification systems in January is not how I see them now. On Thursday (03/18) when we were discussing Alice in Wonderland being a fantasy vs. narrative vs. parody I realized that the lines boxing in the different kinds of genres are not as defined as I once believed. That being said I do not think that they have no use. Similar to Anne (please correct me if I misunderstood your words), I think that if one looks at genre for purpose rather than truth then they are very helpful. For example, a science-fiction for Spleenfiend was characterized by how much science was in the book while for me it was more of how many nonhuman characters exist. Either way, when Spleenfiend and I view the science fiction section in a bookstore we can roughly assume the elements that are involved in the book and neither of us is truly taken by surprise if the plot unfolds in outer space. In my opinion I do not see why the lines cannot blur. I mean, if a novel is science fiction does that mean that it cannot have romance or mystery as well? Alice in Wonderland is no doubt a parody but there are also clear elements of fantasy as well as science fiction, at least by Wai Chee’s definition of science fiction.  If a book were to be strictly one genre without the mixing of other genres then it would not be a very good book. To me genres are similar to the colors of a rainbow if that makes any sense. You can technically separate them but it looks much better when all the colors come together and create a much more beautiful result.


The more I think about this topic the more I appreciate Alice in Wonderland for its subtle rebellion against fitting in any specific genre.



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