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10 votes
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What is steampunk?

The term was coined by science fiction author K. W. Jeter in a letter to Locus in April 1987: Dear Locus: Enclosed is a copy of my 1979 novel Morlock Night; I’d appreciate your being so good as to ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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9 votes
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How is 'flash fiction' a distinctive genre?

You might think of flash fiction as a very short story (it is sometimes also referred to as a short short story). Most magazines that specialize solely in flash fiction don't accept fiction that is ...
robopuppy's user avatar
  • 1,212
8 votes

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

My go-to source for authority on a matter like this is J.A. Cuddon's A Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory. Here is the definition there for "novel of ideas": A vague category of ...
Peter's user avatar
  • 1,405
7 votes

Is Harry Potter a coming of age story?

Why can't HP be both? I particularly like your comment about HP being a hero-slaying-the-dragon story, and I agree that if you have to choose 1 trope to force HP into, this may be the best one. ...
sorenKaram's user avatar
7 votes

Why are Dwarfs almost always technologically advanced compared to other races?

While every fantasy series tends to deal slightly differently with their fantasy races, there tend to be some common denominators. Dwarves are generally written as living underground. Dwarves are ...
RDFozz's user avatar
  • 266
7 votes

Literary genres of Mark and Q in the two-document hypothesis?

There is a lot to unpack here, and it can be difficult to explain everything that you're actually wanting to know unless you have a baseline of knowledge of Mark and Q scholarship. So instead of ...
cmw's user avatar
  • 1,135
6 votes

How does "How Nnedi Got Her Curved Spine" meet the definition of creative nonfiction?

This strikes me more as referencing Tolkien's attitude towards myths and Christianity in particular: Now what Dyson and Tolkien showed me was [... that] the story of Christ is simply a true myth: a ...
auden's user avatar
  • 4,810
6 votes
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Etymology of "iamb", as a genre and a type of metre

In A Prosody Handbook, Karl Shapiro and Robert Beum claim: The Latin iambus derives from a Greek word meaning "a cripple." The short syllable represents the lame foot, the long one ...
verbose's user avatar
  • 30.2k
6 votes
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Where did Camus define "the novel as the place where the human being is abandoned to other human beings"?

Albert Camus' essay L'Homme révolté (1951, The Rebel) contains a chapter entitled "Roman et révolte", in which the author says (emphasis mine), Qu’est-ce que le roman, en effet, sinon cet ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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6 votes
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What would a biography on an animal be called?

Biographies of animals are not a very common genre, although it is not difficult to find examples with a bit of digging: Flush: A Biography (1933) by Virginia Woolf is the "imaginative biography" (...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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5 votes
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How are old horror short stories classified?

Most of the authors you list belong to a genre known as Weird Fiction. The Wikipedia article on the genre has four out of the five authors you name under its list of notable contributors and names Poe ...
Matt Thrower's user avatar
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5 votes

How is Hamlet different from a conventional Elizabethan revenge play?

tl;dr It isn't. Hamlet and its contemporaries Hamlet is one of a cluster of similar plays that were tremendously popular on the Elizabethan and Jacobean stage that are now grouped as revenge tragedies....
verbose's user avatar
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5 votes
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What is the "uncanny" element of Gothic Literature?

I'm going to use a character well-known in the gothic for this answer: Dracula. Count Dracula is uncanny because he reminds us of a human, yet something is amiss in his appearance. He is ...
Hui Wong's user avatar
  • 116
5 votes
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Were the Just William stories written for adults or children?

Well, Richmal Crompton did say in a radio interview that when she started writing these 'Just William' stories, her intention was to write those stories for adults about children. Listen to the ...
Samrat Bhattacharjee's user avatar
5 votes

What's the distinction between a narrative and an essay?

I'm no expert, but I do think there can be an overlap here. A narrative is traditionally defined as a piece of writing chronicling a connected series of events or a story in which a person or various ...
Isabella A.'s user avatar
5 votes

Difference between "conte" and "nouvelle" at the time of La Fontaine

It appears that the "contes" are written in regular verse and use an older diction, while the "nouvelles" are written in irregular verse, with rhyme scheme and meter varying in the ...
verbose's user avatar
  • 30.2k
5 votes

Difference between "conte" and "nouvelle" at the time of La Fontaine

Both contes and nouvelles are short stories. La Fontaine encompasses both of them under the term contes in his preface (bold mine): J'avais résolu de ne consentir à l'impression de ces contes qu'...
jlliagre's user avatar
  • 233
4 votes

Is there a term for stories that act to teach the reader (not the characters) a lesson without the use fantastical elements?

You have actually used the word in your question: such tales are parables. The term parable often is given narrow application that refers to specifically a story from the Gospels that illustrates a ...
verbose's user avatar
  • 30.2k
4 votes

Who was the first author of humorous ghost stories?

Lewis Carroll’s Phantasmagoria, of 1869, should probably be included here. This is quite a long and funny ghost story in poetic form. To give some idea of the humour involved, the poem begins like ...
ferjsoto42yahoocom's user avatar
4 votes

Can all forms of drama be categorised under the four types 'tragedy', 'comedy', 'tragicomedy' and 'melodrama'?

The main issue with the list of genres in the question is that it mixes terms that have been used since antiquity (especially tragedy and comedy) with terms that are particular to specific periods or ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 47.3k
4 votes

Meaning of "The Keeper of Cademuir" by John Buchan

Certainly at first glance "The Keeper of Cademuir" does not look like a typical horror story. As the OP summarised, a gamekeeper finds a poacher's trap, gets his hand caught in it while he ...
Clara Díaz Sanchez's user avatar
3 votes

How is Hamlet different from a conventional Elizabethan revenge play?

Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy was immensely popular; not only was it printed ten times between 1592 and 1633 (although only one copy of the 1592 edition has survived), it was also quoted, alluded ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 47.3k
3 votes

Does 'literary fiction' neccessarily have to be reality-based, or can it have fantastical themes/elements?

Central to your question is: what is the definition of "literary fiction". The general definition is: fiction that has literary merit. What that means is that it will hold up under re-...
Peter Shor's user avatar
3 votes

What are genres? Are they a useful concept?

I would argue that a genre is a kind of non-spoken contract between creator and reader, an implicit understanding of some of the things that has to be accepted to make the work function as intended. ...
andejons's user avatar
  • 3,505
3 votes

Who was the first author of humorous ghost stories?

An earlier example of a humorous ghost story is "The Rival Ghosts" by Brander Matthews, published in Harper's Magazine volume 68 (pages 905–913), in 1884, i.e. just three years before "...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 47.3k
3 votes

What is trauma literature?

It's certainly true that trauma and traumatic events feature in many works of literature. However, Trauma Literature focuses on trauma as a central theme, and often on the difficulty of expressing ...
Goh's user avatar
  • 367
3 votes

Has the puzzle genre in literary fiction been given a formal name?

The name puzzle novel has been used for this genre. See this Goodreads list. David Lodge discusses this genre in his 1971 essay The Novelist at the Crossroads, without supplying an agreed-on name for ...
Peter Shor's user avatar

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