Genre (literature)

Literary genre . System that allows the classification of literary works according to semantic, syntactic, phonological, discursive, formal, contextual, situational and related criteria. In history, there have been several classifications of literary genres, so it is not possible to determine a categorization of all works following a common criterion.


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  • 1 Literary genres
  • 2 Contemporary literary genres
  • 3 Proposals about literary genres
  • 4 literary forms
  • 5 Literary genres in Japan
  • 6 Literary genres of classical Greece
    • 1 Choral lyric
  • 7 Literary genres in the Bible
  • 8 Sources

Literary genres

Literary genres are models of formal and thematic structuring of literary work that are offered to the author as a pre-schema to the creation of his work. Literary genres are the different groups or categories in which we can classify literary works according to their content. Classical rhetoric has classified them into three major groups: lyrical, epic, and dramatic. To these some usually add the didactic.

Contemporary literary genres

Currently it is difficult to talk about genre, especially regarding the production of works after modernism , because there are no formal characteristics to determine which works belong to a certain genre. For example, the novel, after a certain evolution at the end of the 19th century that culminates in Gustave Flaubert , has become, in the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st, the literary form par excellence, which welcomes more different proposals for writing. The term novelIt now serves as a name for a corpus of works of a certain length, in which various discourses can be housed and in which neither the unity nor the coherence in the action established by the Aristotelian canon is necessary. Among these works, those that make use of polyphony are frequent, presenting different narrative voices, and those that deal with different themes or offer different story blocks in the same work. Of course, there is no longer a common formal element

Proposals about literary genres

  • Drama
  • Lyric
  • Narrative genre

Literary forms

In some texts they are defined as sub-genres

  • Epic : in this genre the events are about real or imaginary struggles that have happened to the author or to another person. His form of expression was always the verse.
  • Epic : recounts the exploits that occurred in the ancient age. Its characters are gods and mythological beings. Among the most important epics are “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey”.
  • Sing of Gesta – tells of feats performed by knights of the Middle Ages. They are generally heroic legends of a people. Here stands out the “Song of the Nibelungs” and the “Song of Mine Cid”.
  • Epic Poems: They tell the exploits of a hero, who is mostly a conqueror, because he seeks to exalt or enhance a people.
  • Observation: in Roman civilization it was the poet Horacio who collected the Greek theories regarding literary creation, in his Epistle to the Pisones, also known as Poetic Art.

Currently literary forms are also considered those that are didactic such as:

  • the oratory
  • The essay
  • The biography
  • The Chronicle .

Literary genres in Japan

Some literary genres in Japan are Waka, Katatu, Chooka, Sedooka, Tanka, Renga, Haikai, Haiku.

Literary genres of classical Greece

Coral lyric

Ode, Hymn, Anacreonica, Epitalamio, Peán.

Literary genres in the Bible

The different ways of writing that the authors of the time had. Narrative, apocalyptic, wisdom, legal, lyrical, evangelical, prophetic and epistolary.


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