Contemporary Fiction, Genre – A Perspective, and considering A Greek Matinée

Looking at my manuscript … Big Questions every writer has to answer … Ah, such adventures, intrigues, sufferings and revenge.

My writing is not formulaic.

A generous “Pre-Approach-Agent Reader”, before looking at my manuscript (for critique and feedback) asked me in which genre I had written the tale. This is one of the Big Questions every writer of a novel has to answer. I elected Contemporary Fiction.

Maybe it’s more! Goal posts in the industry change with time as if with the winds but realistically reader delights (which or course drive markets), many embracing innovations never envisioned in classical times nor even a decade or so ago.

My writing is not formulaic so with my thinking cap fitted well and my feet planted firmly I believe, more accurately, A Greek Matinée crosses categories: Contemporary, General, Journey (not restricted to the physical (Road Fiction) nor the mental (psychotic, meditational or otherwise!), Mythology and of course Greece! as the title gives.

On the www, a plethora of sites jostle with their take on Contemporary Fiction from: “Realistic fiction creates imaginary characters and situations that depict our world and society. It focuses on themes of growing up and confronting personal and social problems. This genre portrays characters coming to understand themselves and others”, “… set in contemporary times (modern times)” to “Contemporary Fiction is a genre that extends, reworks and plays with its boundaries”. (I blushed the text herewith as that hits my character nails.)

[Genre (zhahn-ruh): a kind; stylistic category or sort.]

“A Greek Matinée” is Contemporary Fiction. Contemporary because the story is set in modern times (oh yes, the Now) and characters involve with some contemporary and topical issues as they travel on a commonly toured route. They move in the real world but some characters like Anna and Heather lapse elsewhere from time-to-time in psychological shifts; and Anna drifts as if composing a tale in a parallel mythological time. The story is Fiction because characters are not real. Some are 100% imaginary while some inevitably are original composites drawn from various people, past and present, that is, characters woven from an expression of theirs, a glance, a look, an action, some belief, experience, hate or love.

Hesiod’s “Theogony” and “Works and Days” were contemporary with the writing-down of Homer’s epics which originally were in oral tradition and maintained from his Bronze Age, through Greece’s Dark Age and into the Archaic Period when writing re-emerged, contemporary with the rise of Greek city-States.

Ah, such adventures, intrigues, sufferings and revenge! Wonderful stories of mythology which shaped the lives of the Greek people and oft those they came in contact with. In those days, if we lump in the Classical Period, genre was easy to slip your work into: tragedy, comedy, history, philosophy, oratory.

And consider Subjectivity / Objectivity.

Objectivity (note the reversal!) could be seen as telling a tale with detachment, impersonality – no sentimentality. Objectivity is External.

Subjectivity on the other hand internalises, considers and manipulates in emotional terms the how and wherefores stirring the emotions, scurrying with reflectives and working with the human condition as it separates “heart” from “head”. It swims with complexities of reasoning. It’s got feelings, contradicts, questions, pushes beyond the “inevitable”. It is sympathetic and reflective. The world, its people and truth grope in contradictory complexities giving language to the many-sided matrixes of subjectivity and points-of-view. Subjectivity is born of the ego, the mind, the conscious self.

What’s your take on this? I’d be very pleased to read your comments, perhaps strike up conversations.


Author: agreekmatinee

My interests and playtime: Writing, Reading, Swimming in the Sea, Gardening, Art: painting, drawing, printmaking (intaglio, lino cut, woodcut); Travel, Ancient History, Archaeology, Exploration, playing Chess, Family, Friends, chili in my tea

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