Literary movements. Linchpins of lit classes from primary schools to universities. Teachers glue together a couple of authors, usually dead and unable to defend themselves, provide a few examples and test pupils on how precisely they can recite the definitions learned.
I did not mind it that much and it’s probably necessary. It provides lessons with a structure and maybe at least a little something will stay in empty heads of the uninterested majority of students.
One curious thing… the closer we get to our times, it gets more and more difficult to cover entire era with one label. And the question is, is literature getting more complex, or maybe we know so little about the far past, that we’re unable to uncover all the nuances. A bit of both, probably, because the literature is getting more complex, or at least exponentially more numerous. Can we identify coherent movements in a world with millions of books per year (literally!)?
Algorithms show us, if we go to places like Goodreads, which books are similar to the ones we like. But are there some groups of authors in the genre literature that consciously create works similar in style and message? I don’t mean a marketing category, like grimdark.
The last one I’m aware of is The New Weird. And it has the lack of not only being defined by some of the most interesting authors out there, but also of having a convenient short story anthology (with a few essays providing theoretical background) that defines what it is and what is stands for.