Blog Categories
  • Visit our Indiegogo campaign!

  • Support the IAF!

    The Interstitial Arts Foundation needs your support. Click here to donate and become a Friend of the IAF!

  • About the IAF

    The Interstitial Arts Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the study, support, and promotion of interstitial art: literature, music, visual and performance art found in between categories and genres – art that crosses borders. Find out more!

  • Latest IAF News


    Thanks to 277 generous backers for our Interfictions Indiegogo Campaign, we raised $10,318 by the time our campaign ended at midnight, July 14th, 2014.  When we launched on June 3rd, we were staggered to find donations doubling almost daily, until after about 3 weeks we had reached our original target goal of $8,500, and were able to move on to our Stretch Goal of $10,000. Which means we not only get to publish Interfictions Online for another year, but we can pay our contributors at higher rates now, rates more in line with the effort and talent that innovation requires. Thank you, each and every one of the 277 generous donors who stepped forward to say that interstitial art is valued and valuable. The number of people is as important as the number of dollars raised. We are awed by your generosity. Now our work begins in earnest. We will […]

    INTERFICTIONS issue #3 is up online!

    The editors of Interfictions Online are happy to announce the birth of the journal’s latest issue, on May 22, 2014! The Spring 2014 issue’s non-fiction offerings include Mark Craddock’s poignant collage in Aerial Acrobatics and Gender Reassignment Surgery – A How-To Guide, while Inda Lauryn’s Parallels and Transitions splices analysis of contemporary female vocalists into a graduate school memoir. Isabel Yap’s Life Is Not a Shoujo Manga speaks for itself. And in an interview with Jeff VanderMeer and Jeremy Zerfoss, the two creators discuss their illustrated guide to writing, Wonderbook. The fiction offerings remix tropes from ghosts to automata, with new work by Richard Butner, Su-Yee Lin, Kat Howard, Tade Thompson and S. Craig Renfroe Jr. Several of the poems in this issue reimagine older narratives: Sridala Swami’s AI Winter draws on the Mahabharata, Sonya Taaffe’s Double Business on Hamlet, and Mary Alexandra Agner’s Hypothesis Between Your Ribs on the brief life of Charles Darwin’s daughter. With the publication […]

  • Featured IAF News

  • Events

    Interstitial Indy

    Sunday, Nov. 25 Interstitial Indy 7-11PM Indiana Writers’ Center 812 E 67th Street Indianapolis, IN (off College Ave. just behind The Indianapolis Art Center in the Cultural Complex Building)

    New York IAF Salon

    Tuesday, Oct. 23 7-10PM (drop in any time) Vagabond Cafe 7 Cornelia Street New York, NY

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Meta

  • Genre: a moving target?
    by InterstitialArts | March 12th, 2010 |

    The IAF Tweets at, where we also follow the <140-character insights of artists, thinkers, museums, galleries etc. We were recently struck by a quote tweeted by rare book dealer, writer, reader & small press publisher H.W. Wessells of Endless Bookshelf :

    “Genres in fiction are far from rigid anyway; their usefulness as conventions often depends upon their flexibility. But definitions are rigid, and those who wish to form a definition of a genre should not forget that such a definition is only a temporary and arbitrary means to an end.”

    – P.B. Gove. The Imaginary Voyage in Prose Fiction. A History of Its Criticism … from 1700 to 1800 (1941)

    To me, this could be a comment on the angst we’re having over people’s reading of ‘interstitial fiction’ (as expressed in our anthology, Interfictions 2), as being on the far edge of contemporary f/sf, and not something that transcends genre (see “Is Interfictions 2 “Literary Fantasy?”). After all, even genre definitions move: that “far edge” didn’t even exist 10+ yrs ago when we first decided the world needed an Interstitial Arts Movement. So where are we now?

    finish line

    2 Responses to “Genre: a moving target?”

    1. Daniel A. Rabuzzi Says:

      Thanks Ellen, both for finding such a telling quote and for your equally apposite gloss.

      Genres and their definitions are like ice sculptures: imposing and precise at a distance and when first chiseled…but, oh, all that heat arising from the diners and dancers…and someone places a chafing-dish too close… oh dear!…

      Alex Ross, in a New Yorker essay on musical memes, put it well: “Purists of all genres can never stand the fact that the genealogy of music is one long string of miscegenations and mutations” (“Rock 101: Academia Tunes In,” The New Yorker, July 14/21, 2003, pg. 92).

      For those who insist on strict genre boundaries, thematic replication & formulaic structure, I have to agree with German art historian Annette Tietenberg that pattern itself is inherently trans-liminal: “Patterns are above all one thing: border crossing. So whoever works with patterns is close to no longer knowing any limits” (from her Patterns in Art, Design & Architecture, 2005).

      Best from Daniel (I also write about interstitiality at

    2. Venus Says:

      Wonderful site you have here but I was wondering
      if you knew of any user discussion forums that cover the same topics discussed in this article?
      I’d really love to be a part of community where I can get responses from other experienced individuals that
      share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.
      Bless you!

    Post a Comment