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Questions tagged [terminology]

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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15 votes
1 answer

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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29 votes
2 answers

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 ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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11 votes
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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 ...
Fabjaja's user avatar
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26 votes
3 answers

What is a Byronic Hero?

I just saw this post: Was Heathcliff intentionally made a Byronic Hero? Not being familiar with literary terminology, I have no idea what a Byronic Hero is. I had read Wuthering Heights long ago (it ...
muru's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers

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 “...
Brian Koser's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer

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 ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer

What is the distinction between Imagism and Symbolism as poetic movements?

I have recently been reading about symbolism and imagism and they seem to me to be connected in that they were in some ways the opposite of each other, one being the movement to add greater symbolic ...
Benjamin's user avatar
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6 votes
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What does postmodernism mean in terms of literature?

In trying to learn about literature I have frequently encountered the idea of postmodernism. But as I have little humanities experience I have had trouble getting my head around the concept. Can ...
KittenWithAWhip's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer

What does it mean when the chorus speaks "severally" in "Aias"?

I am reading James Scully's translation of Aias (also known as Ajax), in The Complete Plays of Sophocles, translated by Robert Bagg & James Scully. Eleven different times, per the search function ...
bobble's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers

What exactly is canon?

I've seen the word canon used occasionally on this site. I've also seen it used quite extensively on Stack Exchange's science fiction and fantasy site. I'm pretty sure I know what the word means, ...
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6 votes
1 answer

What is the narrative type used in "Harry Potter" called?

Is there a name of the type of narrative used in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels, where the events are written in third person but exclusively follow the perspective of Harry Potter? Only events ...
Fogmeister's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer

What are the major differences between Russian Formalism and New Criticism?

Where literary criticism is concerned, what are the major differences between Russian Formalism and New Criticism?
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4 votes
1 answer

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 ...
Machiavelli's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer

Why are Shakespearean sonnets called Shakespearean sonnets?

The term Shakespearean sonnet is frequently used for sonnets with a particular verse pattern and rhyme scheme, namely ABAB CDCD EFEF GG. But from what I can find with a little reading online, this ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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3 votes
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What is the relationship between the hypotext and the intertext?

I understand a hypotext to be a text (a sort of urtext, or at least foundational text) that influences the hypertext that comes afterwards. For example, the Song of Songs is the hypotext to Elizabeth ...
mig81's user avatar
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2 answers

Meaning of homology 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 ...
ragil satrio's user avatar