The first thing we are going to do before entering fully into the definition of the term literary genre is to know the etymological origin of the two words that give it its shape:
-Gender, in the first place, derives from Latin. Specifically, it emanates from “genus, generis”, which can be translated as “lineage”, “class” or even “lineage”.
-Literary, secondly, it also emanates from Latin, in its case from “litterarius”, which, in turn, comes from the noun “littera”, which is synonymous with “letter”.
The concept of gender Although it has several meanings, in this case we are interested in focusing on its meaning in the context of the arts: each of the lessons or categories in which works can be classified according to their characteristics.
The literary genres, therefore, they are classification categories of the works of literature. According to its content and its form, a work can belong to one or another literary genre.
To place a work in a literary genre, formal, syntactic, semantic and other criteria are taken into account. It is important to mention that there is no single system classification, for which literary genres may vary according to different conceptions.
In the Antiquity, Aristotle recognized three great literary genres: the epic genre (which today is assimilated to narrative genre), the lyric and the drama. It is also often spoken of didactic genre. In these groups, in turn, many subgenres can be differentiated: novel, the tale, the ode, the sonnet, the test, the chronicle, etc.
Moreover, within these subgenres, there are different types, among which we can highlight the following:
-The novel is divided, in turn, into a detective novel, fantasy novel, historical novel, adventure novel … Among the most important writers in history specialized in novels, some such as Miguel de Cervantes, Gabriel García Márquez, Charles Dickens or Umberto Eco, among others.
-The story, for its part, can be classified into a micro-story, modern story, fairy tales … Figures specialized in the story are authors of the stature of Chejov, Jorge Luis Borges or Edgar Allan Poe.
-Poetry, however, can be divided into eclogue, song, ode, elegy and satire. In the poetic field, writers such as Federico García Lorca, Rafael Alberti and Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer stand out.
-The theater, however, can be established that it is divided into drama, tragicomedy and comedy, fundamentally. Significant authors are William Shakespeare or Lope de Vega.
However, it is no less true that, nowadays, when talking about literary genres, everyone thinks of four: narrative, poetry, essays and dramaturgy.
Beyond the theoretical interest in the classification of plays In literary genres, for an author these genres function as models that provide an outline and help him to structure his work. Each literary genre has its “rules” that serve as a guide.
Keep in mind, however, that many works are difficult to classify. A text can be a mixture of chronicle and essay, to cite one possibility, therefore belonging to both literary subgenres (or neither, according to the chosen criterion).