Book

The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms

Chris Baldick

Published in print January 2015 | ISBN: 9780198715443
Published online July 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780191783234 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acref/9780198715443.001.0001
The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms

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abjection

Chris Baldick.

in The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms

January 2015; p ublished online July 2015 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies. 140 words.

A psychological process of ‘casting off ’, identified and theorized by the Bulgarian-French psychoanalytic philosopher Julia Kristeva as the basis of

abridgement

Chris Baldick.

in The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms

January 2015; p ublished online July 2015 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies. 82 words.

A shorter version of an otherwise lengthy written work; also the process of selective cutting that results in such an

absurd, the

Chris Baldick.

in The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms

January 2015; p ublished online July 2015 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies. 172 words.

A term derived from the *existentialism of Albert Camus, and often applied to the modern sense of human

academic drama

Chris Baldick.

in The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms

January 2015; p ublished online July 2015 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies. 64 words.

A dramatic tradition which arose from the *Renaissance, in which the works of Plautus, Terence, and other ancient

acatalectic

Chris Baldick.

in The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms

January 2015; p ublished online July 2015 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies. 20 words.

Possessing the full number of syllables in the final *foot (of a metrical verse line); not *catalectic.

accent

Chris Baldick.

in The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms

January 2015; p ublished online July 2015 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies. 139 words.

The emphasis placed upon a syllable in pronunciation. The term is often used as a synonym for *stress,

accentual verse

Chris Baldick.

in The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms

January 2015; p ublished online July 2015 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies. 102 words.

Verse in which the *metre is based on counting only the number of stressed syllables in a line, and

accentual-syllabic verse

Chris Baldick.

in The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms

January 2015; p ublished online July 2015 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies. 90 words.

Verse in which the *metre assumes the counting both of stressed syllables and of the total number of syllables

acephalous

Chris Baldick.

in The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms

January 2015; p ublished online July 2015 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies. 48 words.

The Greek word for ‘headless’, applied to a metrical verse line that lacks the first syllable expected according to regular

Acmeism

Chris Baldick.

in The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms

January 2015; p ublished online July 2015 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies. 79 words.

A short-lived (c.1911–21) but significant movement in early 20th-century Russian poetry, aiming for precision and clarity in

acrostic

Chris Baldick.

in The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms

January 2015; p ublished online July 2015 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies. 93 words.

Usually a poem in which the initial letters of each line can be read down the page to spell either

act

Chris Baldick.

in The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms

January 2015; p ublished online July 2015 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies. 46 words.

A major division in the action of a play, comprising one or more *scenes. A break between acts

actant

Chris Baldick.

in The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms

January 2015; p ublished online July 2015 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies. 79 words.

In the *narratology of A. J. Greimas, one of six basic categories of fictional role common to all

adage

Chris Baldick.

in The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms

January 2015; p ublished online July 2015 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies. 9 words.

Another word for a *proverb or *maxim.

adaptation

Chris Baldick.

in The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms

January 2015; p ublished online July 2015 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies. 158 words.

The process of making a work of art upon the basis of elements provided by an earlier work in a

adventure story

Chris Baldick.

in The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms

January 2015; p ublished online July 2015 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies. 203 words.

A loose but commonly accepted term for a kind of prose *narrative addressed for the most part to boys,

adynaton

Chris Baldick.

in The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms

January 2015; p ublished online July 2015 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies. 71 words.

A *figure of speech related to *hyperbole that emphasizes the inexpressibility of some thing, idea, or feeling, either

Aestheticism

Chris Baldick.

in The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms

January 2015; p ublished online July 2015 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies. 169 words.

The doctrine or disposition that regards beauty as an end in itself, and attempts to preserve the arts from subordination

aesthetics

Chris Baldick.

in The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms

January 2015; p ublished online July 2015 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies. 30 words.

Philosophical investigation into the nature of beauty and the perception of beauty, especially in the arts; the theory of art

affective

Chris Baldick.

in The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms

January 2015; p ublished online July 2015 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies. 99 words.

Pertaining to emotional effects or dispositions (known in psychology as ‘affects’). Affective criticism or affectivism evaluates literary works in terms