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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45 views

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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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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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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1answer
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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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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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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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395 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.
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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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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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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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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 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 ...
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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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“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 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 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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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 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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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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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" ...
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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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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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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'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 ...
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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?
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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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1answer
605 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 ...
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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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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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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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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 "...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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.—...
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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" ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...