Questions tagged [terminology]

For questions pertaining to terms used in the study of literature, including the names of the genres, tropes, terms used for analysis, and so forth.

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Is there a technical term for a work that is based on another, and created by modifying a few words in critical places?

I came across @Randal'Thor's creative "edit summary" ring a ding dillo, hey Puzz, merry Puzz, Work a place illo on this question and it got a chuckle out of me, but also got me thinking ...
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The name of a device by which an author reports the use of coarse language without quoting it?

Don, a soldier sleeping in a hammock, is abruptly awakened some hours earlier than expected and is quite alarmed, thinking the camp may be under attack by the enemy. The company headquarters runner ...
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What is an epic and why is there “only one epic in English Language so far”?

I’m quite familiar with novels and stories, if my personal view is concerned I would say that story is just a compact and summarised form of novel. The level of detail in novels is, obviously, much ...
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What do literary critics mean when they say a text is overdetermined?

In literary criticism one can sometimes read statements such as the following: "Helena’s love therefore is overdetermined to a degree unusual even in Shakespeare" (Michael Delahoyde quoting ...
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name of the phenomenon: accepting accusations and mold of character into the accused one

I am looking for the general name or literature examples of the following common psychological phenomenon, its nomenclature: When someone is accused of something, i.e. prostitution or murder, after a ...
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Meaning of vision du monde in Lucien Goldmann's genetic structuralism

In the 1960s the French philosopher, sociologist and literary theorist Lucien Goldmann developed a theory known as "genetic criticism" (e.g. in Sciences humaines et philosophie. Suivi de ...
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What is the difference between horizon of expectation and expectation?

I'm studying reader-response theory and wonder what is the difference between horizon of expectation and a simple expectation. In my understanding, the horizon of expectation is just expectation. It ...
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Who introduced the term close reading in the context of literature?

The Wikipedia article Close reading discusses the history of the concept and the influence of I. A. Richards and others on the New Criticism: American New Critics in the 1930s and 1940s anchored ...
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What is Proustian prose?

I was reading an article about the late Gene Wolfe which called him "the Proust of Science Fiction". Specifically: His four-volume masterpiece The Book of the New Sun (of which The Shadow of the ...
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Who was the first scholar who used the term Henriad to refer to a subset of Shakespeare's history plays?

A recent chatroom discussion about how to tag the question Portrayal of Henry Bolingbroke through different Shakespeare plays led to the question what "Henriad" actually means. According to ...
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Are there any “literary cycles” that are cyclic?

I'm thinking of a set of stories that forms a literary cycle in the traditional sense but where they are intended to form a coherent story arc regardless of where in the sequence you start? The ...
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Can stream of consciousness have punctuation/structure?

Our English teacher showed us a poem about someone trying to organize thoughts/feelings that haunt them into a list, and revising the list as they go. She claims that this style of writing is stream ...
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What is it called when a thought or idea is given physical traits?

What is it called when a thought or idea is given physical traits? One example of this is from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, "For stony limits cannot hold love out". In this passage, love is given a ...
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What is the meaning of “editorial novelist” and “literary dude”?

Could someone please answer the following questions? 1- What is an “editorial novelist”? 2- What does “dude” and “literary dude” mean in the following passages: All are mentioned in a New Yorker ...
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What do you call this part of a comic book/graphic novel?

Many comic books and graphic novels contain several pages (usually at the end of the book) which may expand on the lore or may contain biographical information about the authors. Others may contain ...
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Name for genre of stories where the characters are narrative-aware

I've come across several fantasy books and stories where the characters recognize a divine/supernatural force in their world which often referred to as "the narrative" or "the story". In such stories, ...
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Difference between “Ode to” and “Ode on”?

We sometimes see Ode to and sometimes Ode on. Do these both mean a poem written about something? I am a new literature student.
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Is there a formal term for “mispronunciation as a comedic device”?

Mispronunciation can be a comedic device. (Zach Galifianakis has regularly used the device in situational comedy.) I was trying to discuss the device formally, but couldn't recall a formal term ...
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What is the difference between spatial and temporal paratext?

According to Gérard Genette, the paratext is what is beyond a text, e.g.: the cover, the title, the interviews about a novel... Paratext can be devided into two categories: spatial and temporal. The ...
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Is there any technical term for a type of reading that focuses on minor characters in a literary work?

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 ...
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Name for stories which do not contain names of the characters

Perhaps this is against the canons of literary construction but, is there a name for the style of tales, novels, and books which do not contain names for any of the characters? I can only think of ...
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Are the terms “metatextuality / metareference / metareferentiality” synonyms? Is the following definition correct?

Questions I would like to know if I understood correctly that "metatextuality / metareference / metareferentiality" are synonyms and can be used interchangeably. Finally I summarize what I think the ...
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What is the meaning of 'myopia' in literature studies?

Does the term myopia have a special meaning in the context of literature? Myopia is in its most direct meaning a healthcare condition: relating to, or exhibiting myopia : NEARSIGHTED Myopia or ...
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What do you call a break in rhyming in the middle of a book / poem for dramatic effect

Here's what I'm trying to say. I'm creating a children's book for a school project. I've been tasked to identify some literary devices used throughout the book. There is a section of the book which ...
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Is there a name for poems where each verse is a time period?

I'm having a hard time finding examples of this, but I found one by a man named Darryl Davis, called Almanac of a man, that goes like this: When I was five, I was supreme ruler of a boundless ...
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Is Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five an allegory of what would now be called PTSD?

Is Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five an allegory of what would now be called PTSD? Would ‘allegory’ be the correct terminology here?
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“Returning Traveller” Trope

In the poem “The Ruined Cottage” by William Wordsworth, the narrator listens to an old man sitting outside of an abandoned cottage tell of the family that used to live therein. The man describes how ...
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What is the genre after post-apocalypse?

So a lot of stories happen after a great big disaster. The cold war heated up, environmental change finally hit an abrupt point of no return, plants or the dead walk and hunt, that kind of stuff. The ...
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What would be the name for foreshadowing if it is referencing the past?

In literature, if foreshadowing is reference to future events, what would it be called if it is referencing a past event which the reader does not know?
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Is there a name for this narrative technique or style?

As I have been recently reading the books and short stories that comprise Eric Flint's 1632/Ring of Fire series, I have noticed a narrative style that I have not seen before. These books are written ...
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“Literary theory”: Genre or field?

I vaguely remember learning that "literary theory," according to some, is theory through which society and other artificial constructs are analyzed as though works of literature or art. I recall ...
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What is a “proem”, and why was this word used in the translation of the Kalevala?

The contents of Crawford's translation of the Kalevala begin, after the frontmatter that's not part of the original text, with something called a "Proem". Here it is. Obvious question: what is a ...
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What would a biography on an animal be called?

If biography means: an account of someone's life written by someone else. biographies as a branch of literature. a human life in its course. What would a biography based on a particular animal be ...
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Writing/Poetry technique - Requiring reader to have prior knowledge

In the poem "The Red Wheelbarrow" by William Carlos Williams, for the reader to infer the context of the poem - why so much depends on the red wheelbarrow, the reader has to know that William Carlos ...
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What qualifies something as “Lovecraftian”?

I often hear the term "Lovecraftian" used in reference to describe certain elements of horror literature or film. I do understand this to be a reference to H.P. Lovecraft and his style of horror, but ...
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What genre did Arthur Hailey's works belong to?

I'm trying to find fiction works where the world of a story is an organization of certain kind (an airport, a bank, an automobile factory etc.). The most prominent writer in this genre is Arthur ...
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What is the term for a novel that has no chapters or paragraphs?

What is the literary term for a novel that does not have any dividing sections such as chapters or paragraphs? There may still be punctuation. I am thinking of something like Will Self's Phone.
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Style of poetry that plays with typographic rivers

In typography, rivers, or rivers of white, are gaps in typesetting, which appear to run through a paragraph of text, due to a coincidental alignment of spaces. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/River_(...
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Do authors ever think about the literary devices going into their work, including any political allegories? [closed]

I'm a Judy Blume fan, and I found this article on TV Tropes. I noticed that they listed a lot of common themes and patterns. Are authors aware of these things when they first write their stories, or ...
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What is pp in books?

I have a bibliographical reference: [Author] [book name]-5th ed.,pp.3-6,ch.3. What does the "pp" stand for? I don't recognize this abbreviation.
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What is the correct term for “fine words”?

Usually when writing poems or literature, the authors looks for words that can convey their ideas faithfully. The same thing happens to the readers, when suddenly they understand the problem so clear. ...
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Is there an official definition for alliteration? [duplicate]

There is confusion about the definition of Alliteration and Rhyme. Some people define alliteration as the repetition of consonants, while others restrict alliteration to only the case when two ...
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Terminology and examples for what George Orwell calls “good bad poetry”?

Recently I bumped into an article where "The Poetry Foundation’s president, John Barr, takes a look at what separates “serious” poetry from the rest". Poetry being an art form, obviously no such ...
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The proper way to count “edition” numbering

Let's assume there is some John Doe, who is an author of Some Book. This book was published by Some Publisher in 1800, in 2 volumes. Then, it was published again in 1805, by the same publisher, with ...
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What makes a poem a Grook?

I recently learned, while listening to the flow of wisdom, music, and monologue that flows from lauir, that there's a type of poem called a 'Grook'. Quoting from the Wikipedia page: The grooks are ...
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What is the narrative device that involves using inconsequential elements in the story?

I’m looking for the narrative device that, as opposed to Chekhov’s gun, involves purposely including accounts of events or things in the narrative that are inconsequential to the main story. This ...
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Is alliteration adjacent words and/or close together words starting with the same letter? If words between are permitted then how many?

OK, I know this question isn't about literary analysis or anything but I posted this on ELU and it was put on hold (as off-topic) and I was advised to post it here. Is alliteration exclusively ...
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What's the name of the literary device used by Sheymov to refer to himself in 3rd person?

In the introduction, the author explains that he'll use third person to refer to himself: After much thought, I decided to write this book as a third-person account. For me it is a natural form of ...
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How does the Nobel committee define literature?

As you probably know, Bob Dylan, a musician, was awarded the Nobel prize. He was the first musician to receive the Nobel prize. The Nobel committee, notably, seemed to avoid the word music when ...
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What are chapter summary phrases called?

Is there a name for the literary technique of opening a chapter with a series of summary phrases? An example from Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome: Chapter II Plans discussed.—Pleasures of “...