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Is there any technical term for a type of reading that focuses on minor characters in a literary work? For example, a type of reading that focuses on the character of Polonius in William Shakespeare's Hamlet or on the character of Jordan Baker from The Great Gatsby.

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This would probably be what is called a parallel novel. Common examples include Wide Sargasso Sea, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, and Grendel. To quote wikipedia:

These stories further the works of already well-known novels by focusing on a minor character and making them the major character

so it seems to be exactly what you're looking for.

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    I like this answer, but I'm not sure if this is what the author of the question is looking for? It almost sounds like they're asking if there is a name for the process of rereading a story but focusing on the characters who aren't central to the plot. – Lockjaw Jun 30 at 18:56
  • @Lockjaw Ah, I see what you mean. I'll look for that term, I suppose, but I'm not entirely sure it exists =) – heather Jun 30 at 19:40

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