Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

From Novels Discussion:
Dark Sasami: Given that this includes plays, epic poems, and vague collections of oral tradition, why on earth is this called "novels" and not Literature?

Harpie Siren: I do not know. I'm all for a name change to Literature

Robert: Literature is friendlier, I suppose, but it's also plural, which is bad for a page name. Literature is ok for me, but might put some people off — Harry Potter isn't exactly what people think of when they think of Literature. Any other alternatives?

Ununnilium: I say Literature. In a bookstore, the Literature section is "Any genre, if snooty people like it". I don't really care about snooty people.

Fast Eddie: actually, the medium is Book, or perhaps Print. Literature (written material) is a thing that is needed by a number of different media. To give it the Troper flavour we could call it Dead Tree Media.

Seth: I was thinking Books but Dead Tree Media is pretty funny. I personally dont have a problem with Novels, i mean most people will get what it means right?

Robert: They will, but more accurate would better, and plural names are more awkward. Dead Tree Media is a nice name but comics are dead tree media too. While they're also printed, 'print' does usually refer to text rather than graphics, so I'd go for print.

We could always use Dead Tree Media as an overarching term. I.e, There's the Dead Tree Media (Print, Comics, Manga, etc) which is read, Stage And Screen (plays, opera, ballet, film, TV) which is watched, and Interactive Media (videogames, internet stuff) which is a two-way street. That's a pretty natural three way division, highlighting commonalities. Only Stage And Screen has actors, etc.

What matters, naturally, is how people encounter the stories these days. The Arabian Nights may have originated in the oral tradition, but now many more people read them in print (possibly aloud) than recite them from memory. That's why they're on this page.

Ununnilium: In this case, though, not all literature is on dead trees, and not everything on dead trees is literature. I still like the term.

Lale: Before There Was Television?

Robert: People are still writing books. Dead tree media is a nice term, but it includes comics and manga, not just printed text.

Ununnilium: I don't quite understand what's wrong with Literature. The tropes are for fiction conveyed through written words in sequence. Wether or not the words are ink on paper doesn't matter.

Faset Eddie: I think the objection to Literature is the confusion that exists — even in this discussion — between the genre <pommy>(Lit-Ra-cha)</pommy> and all the media where it (Literature) is used. The original intent of a rename was to get off one genre (Novel) and on to a medium. Here are few... Bound Book, Between Covers, Ink, On White Paper — that last one is the only one distinct from comics, but a few words of explanation saying that we make an essentially arbitrary distinction should cover it... which could also pull Dead Tree Media back into the running.

Ununnilium: But "ink on paper" isn't what matters here. The written word, sans pictures, is what groups the tropes together. To do Bound Book would be like saying that the tropes in a movie shown in theaters aren't the same tropes as a movie on DVD.

Fast Eddie: So Words Only would cover it? Just as an exercise, following Robert's earlier notion of a taxonomy, there could be Words Only, Words And Pictures, Words And Actors, and, I suppose, Words And Music.

Robert: Somehow, Word Only doesn't sound like the name of a medium (singular not plural). Words And Pictures is good, but musicals are a type of theatre — they have acting tropes. Stage And Screen is the usual term, and it alliterates nicely.

Really, Web Comics belong with dead tree comics and books - one author, many readers, no actors. It's the same kind of experience. Interactive media are quite different, two-way.

For this page, Words, Words, Words..., The Printed Word, Pure Text?

Fast Eddie: Huh. I kinda like Text. Yes, I'm sure comix, etc. have text in them, but it seems fitting.

Dark Sasami: What do we call it in every case when it comes up in a trope example? "Example from literature." I would feel like an idiot putting down "Example from text" or "example from wordswordswords." Bite the bullet and call it what it is.

Robert: We say 'Literary example' at least as often. Unfortunately, Literature has connotations we don't really want.

Should we be identifying the source media at all? We're covering tropes from all media now so we're bound to have examples from all media — repeatedly saying 'literary example' or 'film example' doesn't contribute anything.

Lale: Well, it makes sense to distinguish film from tv from literature etc. Keep the title Literature, add a paragraph saying that the category includes literature in general, and the above reasons why the title Literature would be a turn-off.

Seth: I agree with Lale

Dark Sasami: Ok, I'm willing to compromise my principles in order to prevent this getting stuck at "leave it as 'Novels'". Whatever it is you have against Literature aside, would you settle for Written Word (or The Written Word)?

Lale: Once again, too inclusive.

Robert: What does The Printed Word include that you wouldn't put on this page?

Seth: I stick to the idea that this name with a little exposition in the text is the best idea/

Ununnilium: What exactly are the connotations that we don't want from Literature?

Robert: That the book is something to be studied, not something to be enjoyed. Literature is high art, eminently worthy. It isn't fun, or popular.

Strictly speaking, all written texts are literature, but there are enough people who use the word this way that we'd need to put an clarifying note on the page. I'd rather pick a title that needed no clarification.

Ununnilium: Meh. That's silly, IMHO. We certainly don't need to use the word in the same way stuffed-up snooty people use it, especially if it's otherwise the best word - which Literature is. After all, we use "Literary example" all over this wiki, even when referring to stuff like Harry Potter and H.P. Lovecraft.

Robert: It's not just the snooty who use the word that way; those who have been intimidated by them do too, including many victims of mind-numbingly dull English classes.

However, if there's a consensus for literature we can change it to that.

Dark Sasami: If it weren't a top-level concept in the hierarchy of media, I'd be willing to go for a cutesy or imperfect name. But it is, and so my final vote is for Literature.

Ununnilium: So, is Flashman modern or classic?

Scud East: Modern; the first novel came out in 1969 and the series is still going on. I don't know how it got into the Pre-20th section. I'll go and remove it now.

Etrangere: It might be useful to start classing this categoy by Genres rather than (only) period. It looks pretty confusing as is.

Ununnilium: Do we really need all these red links? They clutter up the page without adding anything useful. I'd rather just go in and add the link after the entry gets made.

Shire Nomad: Added "Authors" as a subcategory and moved several entries there.
Vampire Buddha: Cut out some natter:
** Or calling Mahou Sensei Negima! a Harry Potter + Love Hina Crossover, or calling Digimon a {{Pokémon}} Alternate Universe. Or calling Lucky Star an Azumanga Daioh Spinoff. Seriously, people. Some works would have not been born without others preceding them.
*** Yeah, like Dragon Ball wouldn't exist without Journey to the West.
** It would be more like Xenogears is the fanfiction for Neon Genesis Evangelion, now that we are at it.

Furiko Maru: Added Arsčne Lupin to the Classics list; don't know why he wasn't on there before - he's had at least a partial influence on every Gentleman Thief who came after him. Also, is there any way to get this thing to recognize "č" as a legitimate letter? Seeing M. Lupin's first name without an accent-grave Headscratchers.

Puffy Treat: Wouldn't Sailor Nothing count as Web Original more than Literature?
Bonsai Forest: Do you think it would be a good idea to separate books not so much by time period, but by audience or genre? Like, kids' books, teen/young adult, and adult? It could, however, get confusing, with Harry Potter being considered a teen/young adult series rather than a kids' series, or Twilight being considered either teen or adult.

How about by theme then? Where would kids' "slice of life" stories, such as Marvin Redpost and Nothing's Fair in Fifth Grade go?

Crackers N Cheese: I'm all for it. Its strange to see The Catcher in the Rye in the same list as World War Z. Maybe add a separate sub-page for books read primarily for entertainment, as opposed to those read for philosophical or intellectual reasons?

Bonsai Forest: I'd rather have sections on this page divided up by folders, rather than sub-pages. Our collections are getting large. We might later have to divide up our Video Games, our Live-Action TV, our Film, etc. pages by genre. I think for now putting them in folders is the best idea.

I don't want to make any drastic changes myself until there's a consensus. What do you guys think of this idea?

Antwan: I think it should be divided like how Film divided its list: chronologically. Anybody willing to do years instead?

Bonsai Forest: Mama mia! The Film page is ginormous! I think that page needs cleanup as well. In fact, there's so many more films listed, that I think it would be best if that page was divided up by genre, followed by decade within the genre listing.

Maybe we should do the same here. Or divide genre within time period. i.e. 19th century: drama. 19th century: realistic fiction. etc.

If we divided by genre, what should our genres be? Some are obvious: horror, adventure, comedy, drama (there is sometimes overlap in dramedy, but we'll deal with that when the time comes). What about "real life" stories? There's realistic fiction (fiction about a historical time period), but there's also "everyday life" stories (i.e. most of Jerry Spinelli's stuff). How do we deal with those? Should "everyday life" or "Slice of Life" be a genre, if it's not an outright drama?
Izaak: I just noticed The Stress of Her Regard isn't indexed. Where should I index it in?