By Chris Baldick
From Jacques Derrida's différance to Henry James's ficelle, the vocabulary of literary idea and feedback can look tough if now not opaque. but a grab of those phrases can usually improve our amusement and realizing of literature. to aid make clear the reader's bafflement, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms offers succinct and sometimes witty factors of over 1000 phrases, protecting every little thing from the traditional dithyramb to the modern dub poetry, from the preferred bodice-ripper to the aristocratic masque, and from the social realism of Stalin's period to the magic realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Salman Rushdie.
Baldick presents the clearest assurance to be had of the newly coined phrases of significant modern theories--such as post-structuralism, deconstruction, semiotics, reader-response criticism--offering lucid, up to date definitions of phrases comparable to logocentrism, metacriticism, gynocriticism, narratology, and foregrounding. in fact, he additionally comprises huge insurance of conventional drama, versification, rhetoric, and literary background, of literary faculties from Alexandrianism to Transcendentalism, and of phrases from languages except English, corresponding to samizdat, Grand Guignol, and negritude. all through, the author's emphasis is on assisting readers use those phrases extra expectantly, even if in writing (he contains plural and adjectival varieties, and different suitable derivations) or in talking (easy-to-use pronunciation courses make clear greater than 2 hundred probably problematical terms). additionally, the dictionary is carefully cross-referenced.
A version reference publication, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms will turn out worthy for either common readers and literature scholars in any respect degrees.
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Extra info for The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms
The time period, that means 'song-drama' in Greek, used to be initially utilized within the eu theatre to scenes of mime or spoken discussion observed via song. In early 19th-century London, many theatres have been simply authorised to supply musical entertainments, and from their simplified plays—some of them tailored from *GOTHIC NOVELS—the smooth experience of melodrama derives: an emotionally exaggerated clash of natural maidenhood and scheming villainy in a plot packed with suspense. recognized examples are Douglas Jerrold's Black-By'd Susan (1829), the nameless Maria Marten (c. 1830), and Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet highway (1842); the Irish playwright Dion Boucicault wrote numerous melodramas from the 1850s onwards, particularly The Colleen Bawn (1860). related plots and simplified characterization in fiction, as in Dickens, is additionally defined as melodramatic. See additionally drame, Grand Guignol. For a fuller account, seek advice James L. Smith, Melodrama (1973). memoir-novel, one of those novel that pretends to be a real autobiography or memoir. It used to be a tremendous shape within the emergence of the fashionable novel in the course of the 18th century, in such works as Daniel Defoe's Moll Flanders (1722) and John Cleland's Memoirs of a woman of delight (1748-9; often referred to as Fanny Hill). the same pseudo-autobiographical mode of *FIRST-PERSON NARRATIVE is foundin very many later novels, however the pretence that the true writer was once basically an 'editor' of a real account didn't outlive the 18th century. Menippean satire or Varronian satire, a sort of intellectually funny paintings characterised by way of miscellaneous contents, monitors of 151 metafiction curious erudition, and comical discussions on philosophical themes. The identify comes from the Greek Cynic thinker Menippus (3rd century BCE), whose works are misplaced, yet who used to be imitated through the Roman author Varro (1st century BCE) between others. The Canadian critic Northrop Frye revived the time period in Anatomy of feedback (1957) whereas additionally introducing the overlapping time period *ANATOMY after a recognized instance of Menippean satire, Robert Burton's Anatomy of depression (1621). The best-known instance of the shape is Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865); different examples contain the novels of Thomas Love Peacock, and John Earth's *CAMPUS NOVEL Giles Goat-Boy (1966). The humour in those works is extra cheerfully highbrow and not more competitive than in these works which we'd frequently name * SATIRES, even though it holds up modern highbrow existence to mild ridicule. metacriticism, feedback of *CRITICISM; that's, the exam of the foundations, tools, and phrases of feedback both typically (as in serious idea) or within the examine of specific critics or serious debates. The time period often implies a attention of the rules underlying serious interpretation and judgement. metadrama or metatheatre, drama approximately drama, or any second of self-consciousness in which a play attracts awareness to its personal fictional prestige as a theatrical pretence. typically, direct addresses to the viewers in *PROLOGUES, *EPILOGUES, and *INDUCTIONS are metadramatic in that they check with the play itself and recognize the theatrical state of affairs; an analogous impact can be completed in *ASIDES.