• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Witty and accessible, Popular Culture Genres is a fascinating study of genres and genre criticism. Author Arthur Asa Berger empowers readers to make their own analysis by providing the methods and examples of good criticism. Part I deals with genres from a critical perspective, asking questions such as: How do the conventions of different genres affect the creation and production of texts and the audiences of those texts? Do certain genres have significant social and political implications? And, how do genres evolve? Part II takes a look at five “classic” popular texts (in both their novel and film versions). Viewing these works in the context of their respective genres is not only instructive in nature but captivating reading as well.

Dr. No
Dr. no
A Popular Hero

I have already dealt with Dr. No in some detail—I offered a synopsis of the story as well as both a syntagmatic (Proppian) and paradigmatic (Lévi-Straussian) analysis of the text. I have chosen to deal with James Bond because he is, according to Tony Bennett and Janet Woollacott (1987), more than just the principal character in a series of books and films. He is, instead, a popular hero of enormous cultural, social, and political significance. In fact, they argue that “Bond is somewhat more than ‘literature's most popular spy,’ however. He is arguably the most popular—in the sense of widely known—figure of the post-war period, if not of this century” (p. 11). The first Bond novel, Casino Royale, appeared in ...

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