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001 A List of Important Literary Terms

001 A List of Important Literary Terms - A List of...

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A List of Important Literary Terms From the Web site for English 299: Intro to Literary Analysis 1) aesthetics: "Philosophical investigation into the nature of beauty and the perception of beauty, especially in the arts; the theory of art or artistic taste." (CB) 2) allegory: "A story or visual image with a second distinct meaning partially hidden behind its literal or visible meaning. In written narrative, allegory involves a continuous parallel between two (or more) levels of meaning in a story, so that its persons and events correspond to their equivalents in a system of ideas or a chain of events external to the tale." (CB) 3) allusion: "An indirect or passing reference to some event, person, place, or artistic work, the nature and relevance of which is not explained by the writer but relies on the reader’s familiarity with what is thus mentioned. The technique of allusion is an economical means of calling upon the history or the literary tradition that author and reader are assumed to share. . . ." (CB) 4) ambiguity: "Openness to different interpretations: or an instance in which some use of language may be understood in diverse ways." Defended by modern literary critics as "a source of poetic richness rather than a fault of imprecision." (CB) 5) canon: A body of works considered authentic (as in the body of works actually written by a particular author) or considered by a particular culture or subculture to be central to its cultural identity. 6) connotation: "The emotional implications and associations that words may carry, as distinguished from their denotative meanings." (HH) 7) convention: "An established practice—whether in technique, style, structure, or subject matter—commonly adopted in literary works by customary and implicit agreement or precedent rather than by natural necessity." (CB) 8) denotation: The basic dictionary meaning of a word, as opposed to its connotative meaning. 9) diction: Literary word choice. 10) didactic: A work "designed to impart information, advice, or some doctrine of morality or philosophy." (CB) 11) discourse: "[A]s a free-standing noun (‘discourse as such) the term denotes language in actual use within its social and ideological contexts and in institutionalized representations of the world called discursive practices." (CB) Literary works may contain or make use of any number of discourses. Literary language may itself be considered a kind of discourse.
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