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A term used in some modern criticism (especially in New Criticism) to designate those ‘concrete’ properties of a literary work that cannot be subjected to paraphrase, as distinct from its paraphrasable ‘structure’ or abstract argument. The term is applied especially to the particular pattern of sounds used in a poem: its assonance, consonance, alliteration, euphony, and related effects. Often, though, the term also covers diction, imagery, metre, and rhyme.

Subjects: Literature.

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