“From day to day, year to year comparable situations occur, prompting comparable responses.” The comparable responses or recurring forms, become a tradition which then” tends to function as constraints upon any new response in the form.” Thus, inaugurals, eulogies, courtroom speeches and the like have conventional forms because they arise in situations with similar structures and elements and because rhetor responds in similar ways, having learned from precedent what is appropriate and what effects their actions are likely to have on their people. (Italics are mine. Miller 152)
This quote from Miller invokes two related responses:
1: The dialogic nature of genres. Genres are dialogic because they are not isolated pieces of writing created in vacuum. They are rhetorical responses to situations that demand the response in a particular manner. Genre’s consideration of the audience makes it dialogic. Instead of being a one-way act of speaking, they originate as a “response” like an answer to a question. Their dependence on previous responses in similar situations resonates with Bakhtin’s idea of “intertextutality.”
2: Structural Stability of genres. Genres are stable because they function under “constraints” called “tradition” and “convention.” Their very existence depends on their structural stability.
Question: Similarity of situation, of response and of assumptions of the effect on the reader sound like the ingredients of a recipe called genre. If the rhetor/writer has to work with these ingredients, where is the room for originality/creativity?