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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
3
votes
1answer
68 views

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.
2
votes
1answer
49 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
54 views

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 ...
2
votes
0answers
67 views

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 ...
1
vote
0answers
20 views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
61 views

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 ...
5
votes
0answers
47 views

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 ...
4
votes
0answers
23 views

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 ...
5
votes
0answers
77 views

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?
2
votes
0answers
47 views

“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 ...
1
vote
2answers
401 views

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 ...
0
votes
0answers
42 views

What is the literary device used in 'In-universe' books?

What is the term for the literary device in fiction writing that weaves references to another 'work' (either fictional or non-fictional) in the narrative, e.g. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

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?
3
votes
1answer
64 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
106 views

“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 ...
5
votes
1answer
140 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

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 ...
9
votes
1answer
88 views

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 ...
1
vote
0answers
48 views

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.
6
votes
2answers
92 views

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_(...
4
votes
0answers
58 views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

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.
0
votes
2answers
82 views

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. ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

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 ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

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 ...
4
votes
0answers
46 views

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 ...
9
votes
3answers
352 views

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
161 views

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
264 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
64 views

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 ...
3
votes
0answers
105 views

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 ...
9
votes
2answers
95 views

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.—...
11
votes
1answer
646 views

What do people mean when they refer to a work as “Dostoevskian”?

I hear this term thrown around a lot, in connection to a variety of different works. They don't all share the same central themes, though - at least not necessarily. But they do all tend to be ...
1
vote
0answers
41 views

Is there a term/example for the danger in translating an idiomatic term by a loanword which exists in the language from which one is translating?

What is a technical term, used by professional translators, and are there 'notorious' instructive examples for the following danger when translating a text: I have to translate a text T from language ...
12
votes
1answer
253 views

What is the origin of epigraphs?

What are the origins of putting epigraphs in a work? Wikipedia has this example from 1700, but no explanation on when or why epigraphs came into vogue. Facsimile of the original title page for ...
24
votes
2answers
7k views

What's it called when a short quote appears at the beginning of a chapter?

I've read several novels (Cornelia Funke's Inkheart trilogy springs to mind, for example) in which each chapter is associated with a quote from some other piece of literature, which is usually somehow ...
5
votes
1answer
571 views

Can 'peripeteia' be a positive change too?

Peripeteia is an unexpected reversal of circumstances or a turning point. In tragedy, this sudden change of circumstances is usually a negative one. Is it possible for peripeteia to be a positive one ...
6
votes
0answers
42 views

Does literary theory have a technical term for a writer publishing the first version of one of their works in a foreign language?

Does literary theory know a technical term for the following: An accomplished writer intentionally publishes the first version of one of their texts in a language which they neither know (well), ...
6
votes
1answer
121 views

A figure of speech combining two phrases

I have read somewhere that it is typical of poems such as Nibelungenlied to use a figure of speech which in fact merges two phrases into one by the mean of a common word. An example could be the ...
1
vote
2answers
140 views

Type of book written by L.M Alcott

Somewhere or other, many years ago, I read that there was a name for the type of book written by the likes of L.M. Alcott. That they were a backlash against the novels of the time and meant to teach ...
2
votes
0answers
198 views

What is this phenomenon called?

Whenever I read a book, I create an image of how the character would look like, from the author's description, in my mind. And this image mostly would be different from person to person. However, ...
4
votes
1answer
75 views

Terms for structural analysis of a non-linear narrative

I'm struggling to identify established terms for analyzing non-linear narratives. If the narrative chronology is the order in which events are narrated, what is the standard term for the "internal" ...
4
votes
1answer
160 views

What is the name of the writing style in “Bleak House” by Charles Dickens? Why is that style used?

In Bleak House by Charles Dickens, the viewpoint frequently changes from Esther Summerson, or first-person, to third person. What is this style known as? Also, why did Dickens place such a important ...
3
votes
1answer
501 views

What does post-modernism mean in terms of literature?

In trying to learn about literature I have frequently encountered the idea of post-modernism. But as I have little humanities experience I have had trouble getting my head around the concept. Can ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the difference between a 'metaphor' and an 'allegory'?

What is the difference between a 'metaphor' and an 'allegory'? Their dictionary meanings are too close to distinguish. Explanation with examples will be useful. The definitions I've come across ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the difference between a philosophical novel and a novel of ideas?

Wikipedia calls the novel of ideas a subgenre of philosophical fiction, without defining the first term. The Routledge Encyclopedia of Narrative Theory (2010) uses the terms "novel of ideas" and "...
9
votes
3answers
614 views

Why is “Ode on Melancholy” an Ode?

What features of Keats's "Ode on Melancholy" make it an ode? This is a question that seems to be important in our English class, yet I don't have a comprehensive answer. Merriam-Webster defines "ode" ...
10
votes
1answer
139 views

What is Hubbard's definition of “pure science fiction”?

In his 1980 introduction to Battlefield Earth, L. Ron Hubbard claims that the novel is a work of "pure science fiction" and then sets out to define that term. However... Hubbard spends more time ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

What is close reading?

What exactly is "close reading"? How does it relate to the study of literature? Are there any instructions about how to do a close reading of a text/passage?
6
votes
1answer
242 views

How is 'flash fiction' a distinctive genre?

"Flash Fiction" is an umbrella term used to describe any fictional work of extreme brevity, including the Six-Word Story, 140-character stories (also known as 'twitterature'), the dribble (50 words), ...