The OF Blog: "Genre" or "Literary?"

Thursday, June 23, 2011

"Genre" or "Literary?"

Leaving aside my opinions on those terms, I am going to present quotes from several books I've either read recently or shall be reading presently.  I figure that for some, adamant as they are about the quality of one marketing branch of literature vis-a-vis the other, should be able to discern which is which rather quickly.  But for others, perhaps this might be a challenge.  So for those intrepid enough to play this blind challenge game, respond with "genre" or "literary" for what you associate with the respective quotes.  Bonus if you can guess the authors.

When the family came to live inside the new house, they'd found another family already there.  An exact copy of their family - a copy father, mother, and son.  The copy family members stood each in a room alone unblinking.  The copy family would not speak when spoken into - though they had heartbeats, they were breathing.  Their copy eyes were wet and stretched with strain.  Their copy skin felt like our skin.  Their copy hearts beat at their chests.
Speaking of illegitimacy, there was more than a hint of romantic, nay, melodramatic illegitimacy in the Hazard family long before Nora and myself took our first bows.  Because Ranulph Hazard, during all his lengthy marital and extramarital career, had produced no issue, as yet, until his wife's transvestite Hamlet met her Horatio's exceptional gift of gravitas, not to mention his athleticism.  Tongues wagged.  Did Melchior lend an ear?  Who can tell, at this distance in time.  All the same, he loved his boys.  He cast them as princes in the tower as soon as they could toddle.
The view over the rooftops of Avina had always transfixed Skylene, never more so than now.  From where she stood on the balcony of the offices that had once belonged to the Lvin Herith, the city looked endless.  It thrust up to the south in a jumbled bulk that went on for miles, farther than she could see:  all the towers with their sun-bright colors, flags of the clans hung now just as they always had, lines of smoke rising to a certain height at which point the wind bent each column and sent it off to the west.  Seabirds and starlings and pigeons cut arcs through the sky and filled the morning air with their calls.
It's the pretty blonde that completes the scene.  No question.  Pressed up against the side of a building?  Check.  Life-and-death situation?  Check.  Significantly more sweat running down my back than really seems appropriate?  Big check for that one.  And yes, against all likelihood, there's a pretty blonde by my side.  Check.

Because now, after years of paperwork, after years of trawling through minutia, police work is finally fulfilling the promise Tango and Cash made to my impressionable teenage self.

It is time for action.

Except that, in the heat of the moment, my heart beating a sharp tattoo against my ribcage, I rather wish that Kurt Russell had taken the time to turn to the camera and explain the sheer bowel-loosening terror involved in doing this sort of thing.  Because right now, even with a killer so close, even with a life on the line, paperwork had never seemed so appealing.
To grasp war as a machine, or in other words, to inquire into the Abrahamic war machine in its relation to the technocapitalist war machine, we must first realize which components allow Technocapitalism and Abrahamic monotheism to reciprocate at all, even on a synergistically hostile level.  The answer is oil:  War on Terror cannot be radically and technically grasped as a machine without consideration of the oil that greases its parts and recomposes its flows; such consideration must begin with the twilight of hydrocarbon and the very dawn of Earth.
The red hen looked as if she was laying another egg on my bed and Marmeen was objecting to having his tail combed out, all as usual.  The sudden apparition of Galahad in the room almost knocked me off my chair.  The last time my son visited me was when the tank burst and he came in with the plumber.  He stood mouthing in the door.  I suppose he was saying something.
Sometimes it's fun to make shit up.  Maybe as a way of getting at myself without having to go through all the boring pedestrian shit you want to hear, like where I was born and what it was like, having a brother.  Cancer Bitch made shit up all the time.  Acted in plays, acted in movies.  I was her paid companion and half-assed dresser from 1961 to 1964, beginning the year I moved to Manhattan from Peoria.  Cancer Bitch - that would be Diana Sands.
The world in the wake of the stealth floater continued to fall into itself.  Shock waves guided the tiny craft like a pinball through braids and ganglions as it carried the unwounded flesh sentient Freer home, invisible to naked eyes.  The Sniffer on his ear growled softly.  The Uncle Sam, which had married the small stealth mind for the trip, did a bee-dance blur of diagnostics inside Teardrop as it overrode the growing gnarls of plaque and kept the floater on course.  The seat held on to Freer, he held on to the seat.
I saw Archibald Murray's obituary in the Tribune a couple of days ago.  It was a long notice, because of all those furbelows he had after his name, and dredged up that old business of ours, which can't have pleased his children.  I, myself, have never spoken up before, as I've always felt that nothing I saw sheds any light, but now I'm last of us.  Even Wilmet is gone, though I always picture him such a boy.  And there is something to be said for having the last word, which I am surely having.

So, you think you can discern which would be marketed as "genre" and which would be considered "literary?"





4 comments:

JML said...

From which book did this come from? "To grasp war as a machine, or in other words, to inquire into the Abrahamic war machine in its relation to the technocapitalist war machine, we must first realize which components allow Technocapitalism and Abrahamic monotheism to reciprocate at all, even on a synergistically hostile level. The answer is oil: War on Terror cannot be radically and technically grasped as a machine without consideration of the oil that greases its parts and recomposes its flows; such consideration must begin with the twilight of hydrocarbon and the very dawn of Earth."

It seems interesting. Can you tell me the title? Or if that's against the rules of this guessing game, maybe you can tell me when the it's finished.

Larry said...

I'll tell you in a day or two, but it is a book I enjoyed.

JML said...

I'm pretty bored, so I decided to try my hand at the guessing game.

Genre
Literary
Genre
Genre
Genre
Literary
Genre
Literary
Genre
Genre
Genre
Literary

Damn, this was difficult. For most of the quotes, I used eenie meenie miny mo. How would you define literary, or genre anyway?

James said...

I know the answer to some of these already, but I will go with the guesses I made before I hit up Google.

1) Genre, but marketed as Literary.
2) Literary
3) Genre
4) Genre
5) Genre - Though the contents of the quote gave away the book.
6) Genre
7) Literary
8) Genre
9) Literary

 
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