Genre boundaries are real power boundaries.

I think of science fiction, including my own, as very much a paraliterary genre. The fact that it lives – and has lived – on the margin is important to its history. If you remove it from that margin, you remove it from its historical context; I don’t think that’s such a good thing. Genre boundaries are real power boundaries. Bringing all the genres together into what, following Roland Barthes, Susan Sontag called “the great democracy of texts” has endless problems – quite as many as trying to mete equality out among classes, races, and religions. “Let’s get al the races together and we’ll have no problems” – starting tomorrow.

Samuel R Delany, About Writing pp 315

2 thoughts on “Genre boundaries are real power boundaries.”

    1. I like the quote because it relates genre boundaries to social boundaries, which is an argument I agree with. theres quite a lot of denial on all sides about the economic and social barriers to creativity. IE it helps to be independently wealthy! Genre is a space where many writers without those privileges have made a home, which is part of the meaningful history Delany is one about.



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