The notion of genre

1. Genre: is both an evil, and a grace to the writer, artist, or musician.

2. Genre is, as a category, the capacity to delineate between one’s work and that of others (difference), and yet, demonstrates one’s affinity with similar work (similarity/unity).

3. There are those who say they defy categorisation, and what this means is that the old ways of categories don’t apply, and there are those who are genuinely beyond category. The latter eventually falls prey to being a category.

4. The polymath cannot exist when there is genre. Was Spinoza a lens grinder, or a philosopher? Further to that: was he a metaphysician par excellance, or a natural philosopher?

5. Somehow it seems authentic to be not of a genre: to say It’s not commercial is a mark of style, but do not forget the moral of the bohemians: that just because you are not established isn’t a sign of being a posthumously famous artist. Romantic as it is: La Boheme is a fine operatic work of parody; not deference, to the Bohemian.

6. Let’s consider some interesting cases that I’m familiar with:

Megadeth: Back in the 80s they said they were not of any kind of genre: at a time when heavy metal was self-indulgent (e.g. glam metal), and almost indistinct from general rock music. Now we may say they are Speed metal or Thrash Metal; but even these terms aren’t very good. There are better examples of distinctly thrash metal bands. Although early Megadeth definately counts as speed.

Motorhead (sic): Many describe them as Speed Metal, but on many occaisions, Lemmy has noted that the music is a descendant and inheritor of Rock’ n Roll. In many ways this makes sense, compared to the genre label of Metal; which in itself seems almost a vacuous label now. Motorhead’s music concerns indulgence, fast women, and erectile related issues.

Michael (and Antisophie)

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