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The following is a list of literary terms; that is, those words used in discussion, classification, criticism, and analysis of poetry, novels and picture books.

See also: Glossary of poetry terms, Literary criticism, Literary theory
File:P literature.svg This literature-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.



Abecedarius | Academic drama | Acatalectic | Accent | Accentual verse | Accentual-syllabic verse | Acrostic | Aisling | Allegory | Alliteration | Allusion | Anachronism | Anacrusis | Anadiplosis | Anagnorisis | Analects | Analepsis | Analogue | Analogy | Anapaest: Anapest | Anaphora | Anastrophe | Anecdote | Annal | Annotation | Antagonist | Antanaclasis | Antepenult | Anthology | Anticlimax | Anti-hero | Anti-masque | Anti-romance | Antimetabole | Antinovel | Antistrophe | Antithesis | Antonym | Aphorism | Apocope | Apocrypha | Apollonian and Dionysian | Apologue | Apologetics | Apology: Apologetics | Apothegm | Aposiopesis | Apostrophe








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Tone: very vague critical term usually designating the mood or atmosphere of a work, although in some more restricted uses it refers to the author's attitude to the reader (e.g. formal, intimate, pompous) or to the subject-matter (e.g. ironic, light, solemn, satiric, sentimental). Example:

Theme: salient abstract idea that emerges from a literary work's treatment of its subject-matter; or a topic recurring in a number of literary works.

Example: While the subject of a work is described concretely in terms of its action (e.g. 'the adventures of a newcomer in the big city'), its theme or themes will be described in more abstract terms (e.g. love, war, revenge, betrayal, fate, etc.).




References Edit

  • M. H. Abrams. A Glossary of Literary Terms. Thomson-Wadsworth, 2005. ISBN 1-4130-0456-3.
  • Chris Baldick. The Concise Dictionary of Literary Terms. Oxford Univ. Press, 2004. ISBN 0-19-860883-7.
  • Chris Baldick. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms. Oxford Univ. Press, 2001. ISBN 0-19-280118-X.
  • Edwin Barton & G. A. Hudson. Contemporary Guide To Literary Terms. Houghton-Mifflin, 2003. ISBN 0-618-34162-5.
  • Mark Bauerlein. Literary Criticism: An Autopsy. Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 1997. ISBN 0-8122-1625-3.
  • Karl Beckson & Arthur Ganz. Literary Terms: A Dictionary. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1989. ISBN 0-374-52177-8.
  • Peter Childs. The Routledge Dictionary of Literary Terms. Routledge, 2005. ISBN 0-415-34017-9.
  • J. A. Cuddon. The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory. Penguin Books, 2000. ISBN 0-14-051363-9 .
  • Dana Gioia. The Longman Dictionary of Literary Terms: Vocabulary for the Informed Reader. Longman, 2005. ISBN 0-321-33194-X.
  • Sharon Hamilton. Essential Literary Terms: A Brief Norton Guide with Exercises. W. W. Norton, 2006. ISBN 0-393-92837-3.
  • William Harmon. A Handbook to Literature. Prentice Hall, 2005. ISBN 0-13-134442-0.
  • X. J. Kennedy, et al. Handbook of Literary Terms: Literature, Language, Theory. Longman, 2004. ISBN 0-321-20207-4.
  • V. B. Leitch. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. W. W. Norton, 2001. ISBN 0-393-97429-4.
  • Frank Lentricchia & Thomas McLaughlin. Critical Terms for Literary Study. Univ. of Chicago Press, 1995. ISBN 0-226-47203-5.
  • David Mikics. A New Handbook of Literary Terms. Yale Univ. Press, 2007. ISBN 0-300-10636-X.
  • Ross Murfin & S. M. Ray. The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms. Bedford/St. Martin's, 2006. ISBN 0-312-25910-7.
  • John Peck & Martin Coyle. Literary Terms and Criticism. Palgrave Macmillan, 2002. ISBN 0-333-96258-3.
  • Edward Quinn. A Dictionary of Literary And Thematic Terms. Checkmark Books, 2006. ISBN 0-8160-6244-7.
  • Lewis Turco. The Book of Literary Terms: The Genres of Fiction, Drama, Nonfiction, Literary Criticism, and Scholarship. Univ. Press of New England, 1999. ISBN 0-87451-955-1.

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