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ENGB37 - LEcture 2

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Natalie Rose

ENGB37 – Lecture 2: Theories of Popular Culture – Hunger Games - How does literature fit into culture - What influences it and what is the context of literature - Karl Marx – theory - Postmodernism - Metanarratives  the big idea of the story of what is going on - The idea of Genre: o The big differences in popular literature is that it always tends to be genre literature o Way of categorizing literature o E.g., When you pick up a book by Steven King, you have a certain kind of expectation of how the book will be because of the genre of book he usually writes o Governed by conventions leader learns to expect o Originates with Aristotle:  Began to define genre as  poetry, drama, prose o Literary writers (Margaret Atwood) tends to NOT write in a specific genre but tends to mix it up o Writers that “push the envelope” introduce unexpected twists and turns  They combine genres, bring in different things  With the vampire novel, the writer brings different elements such as horror, sci fi, romance, etc. o This can restrict creativity: tyranny of genre o Conventions of genre continually shifting, combining – unstable (e.g., sci fi, horror, crime, etc.)  Different conventions of genre - The “culture and civilization” tradition: th o 19 century: industrialization and urbanization; class segregation o Separate culture: developed by people often radical) and new entrepreneurs o End of shared common culture: 2 nations (Disraeli): direct challenge to elite  Prime minister of England o Matthew Arnold wrote “culture and anarchy”  we are moving into a very difficult situation – culture is the best that has been though and said in the world  he came up with “culture”  What will happen to society if the trend continues  Purpose of culture is to make reason and the will of God prevail, sweetness and light, minister to diseased spirit of time  Popular culture = anarchy = disruption and danger, culture tame the raw and uncultivated o Sees high culture as having a spiritual connection o E.g., if you listen to Beet
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