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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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2
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1answer
60 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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1answer
48 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 ...
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1answer
52 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 ...
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4answers
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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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0answers
66 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 ...
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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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1answer
59 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 ...
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46 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 ...
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0answers
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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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0answers
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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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2answers
344 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 ...
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41 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 ...
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1answer
42 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?
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1answer
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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 ...
5
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1answer
126 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 ...
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1answer
158 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 ...
3
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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 ...
2
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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
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1answer
86 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 ...
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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.
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3answers
336 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 ...
9
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3answers
610 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" ...
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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_(...
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2answers
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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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2answers
6k 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 ...
14
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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?
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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. ...
3
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1answer
494 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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1answer
92 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
254 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 "...
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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 ...
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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 ...
6
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1answer
117 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 ...
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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.—...
4
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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" ...
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1answer
608 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 ...
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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
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1answer
244 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 ...
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1answer
561 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 ...
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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), ...
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0answers
187 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, ...
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2answers
900 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 ...
4
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1answer
148 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 ...
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1answer
587 views

Is there a name for a comic relief character that temporarily becomes highly capable?

This is a trope that I've seen sometimes in comic books. I haven't seen it in prose fiction yet. Sometimes, we see a character who provides comic relief become highly capable for a single issue or ...
11
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1answer
219 views

What is the meaning of “Director's Cut” in the context of comics?

I have noticed that a few comic titles are also referred to as Director's Cut like DC's Final Crisis 1: Director's Cut. I know what a Director's Cut is in the context of film, as discussed here on our ...