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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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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?
Coolfish's user avatar
6 votes
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Understanding the technique of "lightening" in Calvino's writing

I'm reading the paper "Erasing the Invisible Cities: Italo Calvino and the Violence of Representation" by John Welsh (which you can read for free online). I've read and enjoyed Calvino's Invisible ...
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Are there different formats of haikus?

This is similar to this question but not exactly the same. I have seen haikus in the following formats: The traditional / which is in five-seven-five / and is most common But I have also read that ...
Joe Kerr's user avatar
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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 ...
BeatsMe's user avatar
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Name for a fictional or mythological character who doesn't suffer personally, but whose family and friends all do?

I feel like this must be a character archetype or mythological figure, but can't find any references to it. In my mind, it's something like Cassandra knowing the future but not being believed; this ...
Kyle Bahr's user avatar
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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, ...
Dragongeek's user avatar
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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 ...
itsadok's user avatar
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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 ...
john c. j.'s user avatar
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Is there a word for a literary technique that allows a short passage to be read aloud in more than one way?

I recently started reading Sam Logan's Sam and Fuzzy online, and am greatly enjoying it. In the fifth volume of the NMS Series (Sam and Fuzzy Missing Inaction, "Boundaries, Pt. 9") there's a cute ...
Shokhet's user avatar
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How and when did the term "spoilers" originate?

Nowadays, the word "spoilers" is frequently used to describe a twist, major plot point, or anything which, if known beforehand, might spoil the experience of reading a story. This whole ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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Forms of foregrounding: are recurrence / equivalence the same?

I'm struggling to grasp the difference between the literary devices of recurrence and equivalence. I'm preparing for an exam where we are asked to define these terms. In German, they are referred to ...
E.V.'s user avatar
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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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Making trivial things big, and big things trivial

In Sherriff’s play Journey’s End, Sherriff makes a recurring point of soldiers ‘coping’ with the war by making trivial things big and big things small, so much so that deviation from this theme leads ...
Vivaan Daga's user avatar
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Name for prosodic pattern in which the last line in a verse is much shorter than all the rest

I noticed this pattern in Auden's poetry where the last line in a verse will be much shorter than preceding lines. Here is one of the earliest examples, taken from Paid on Both Sides: Here a scrum ...
pseudosudo's user avatar
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Poems or stories with no repeated words?

I am after a poem/story that has no repetitions in words, further, is this a type of writing style? Are there any famous examples where this is the case? Repetition is the act of repeating or ...
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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 ...
user2820579's user avatar
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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 ...
Franklin Pezzuti Dyer's user avatar
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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, ...
Dawny33's user avatar
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Why is the short Vietnamese piece "Learning Late Letters" called a "poem"?

"Learning Late Letters", originally written in Vietnamese by Nguyễn Hoàng Quyên, was one of the winners of the 2020 Words Without Borders Academy of Americans Poets Poems in Translation ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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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 ...
guest's user avatar
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What is the poetic technique used in "I know why the caged bird sings"?

In Paul Laurence Dunbar's "Sympathy", when comparing the caged bird to suppressed black people in America, is the poet using metaphor or symbol?
Siva Manasan's user avatar