Transcending Genre

In an otherwise astute post, Kerry Howley writes

May it never be said of any of you that your work “transcends genre.”

I think Ms. Howley’s a little too facile in her dismissal of this artistic aim.  Yes, the method of art can never be so direct.  In that she is correct. But Raymond Chandler came down from the mountain with the first commandment of artistry, me thinks. From the introduction to Trouble Is My Business:

To exceed the limits of a formula without destroying it is the dream of every magazine writer who is not a hopeless hack. 


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