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EN119A READING FICTION

LITERARY TERMS AND DEFINITIONS

29/11/2011

Tips to Consider: 1) These definitions are not all written verbatim from the presentation slides (and I have left the obvious ones out so that you can incorporate their definitons for your own fun studying!). I used the Bedford Glossary of Literary Terms (Murfin and Ray), The Cambridge Introduction to Narrative (H. Porter Abbott) and A Glossary of Literary Terms by M.H. Abrams. Use these definitions, if necessary, as supplements to the definitions on the lecture slides. 2) Memorize these terms and definitions to the extent that you can paraphrase them accurately (write in your own words to prove that you comprehend the context of each word) without looking up the actual definitions. That's why I left a blank column beside the definitions: on your computer, make the font colour of the left side white and practice writing out the definitions. Then turn them back to black and see how well you've done. See if you can get as close as possible to the right definitions without looking. Or print it out and fold it in half. 3) When writing out your paraphrase of these terms, it might also help to look for examples in the texts that we have studied and to include some in the boxes below. For example, beside Simile, you might write one of the many relating to technology and locomotion in Ralph Ellison's King of the Bingo Game. 4) These literary terms are not only meant to be used during the Define these Literary Terms of the exam section. Use your knowledge of these terms in the sight passage/essay question sections to increase your chances for as many marks as possible. Just be sure to be accurate with your usage of them. 5) You do not have to agree completely with the definitions that I have provided. Debate them cogently and elegantly, and integrate your objections into your paraphrase. Abrams is a pretty difficult guy to go up against, but if you can defend the usefulness of the definition(s) and argue its possible shortcomings, that's great. Be aware that this is an advanced level of thinking; the first level is to understand the definitions completely.

EN119A READING FICTION

LITERARY TERMS AND DEFINITIONS

29/11/2011

Fiction: Narrative writing drawn from the imagination rather than history or fact. The term is most commonly associated with novels and short stories (Harmon and Holman 212) Any writing that relates imagined characters and occurrences rather than recounting real ones (Murfin and Ray 164) Imagery: Refers to (1) the actual language that the writer uses to convey a visual picture (or, most critics would add, to create or represent any sensory experience); and (2) the use of figures of speech, often to represent abstract ideas in a vivid or innovative way (Murfin and Ray 210) Sensuality; the sky and the water; Synthesia (the odour of pinks); dinner of herbs. Figure of speech: a literary device involving unusual use of language, often to associate or compare distinct things. Figures of speech typically depart from the usual order of words or from their literal meaning to create an image in the reader s mind. (eg. similes, metaphors, allegory, personification) (Murfin and Ray 125) Motif: A unifying element in an artistic work, especially any recurrent image, symbol, character type, subject, or narrative detail. In a broader sense, motif can even refer to any recurrent theme that helps to unify a given work of literature (Murfin and Ray 277) Art & Artistry, recurrent symbol of birds, the sea, religion, swimming, motherhood/maternity. Symbol: something that, although it is of interest in its own right, stands for or suggests something larger and more complex often an idea or a range of interrelated ideas, attitudes or practices. All symbols depend on images, images that are often repeated to give the symbol cogency and depth (Murfin and Ray 470) Theme: Not simply the subject of a literary work, but rather a statement that the text seems to be making about that subject Fable: a Brief tale told to point to a moral Often feature animals: beast fables Beast fables often a satiric device to point out human follies Satire: a work or manner that blends a censoriousattitude with humor and wit for improving human institutions or humanity (Source: Holman And Hunt) Bildungsroman: A novel that recounts the development (psychological and sometimes spiritual) of an individual from childhood to maturity, to the point at which the protagonist recognizes his or her place or role in the world (Murfin And Ray 39)

EN119A READING FICTION

LITERARY TERMS AND DEFINITIONS

29/11/2011

Novel: A lenghty fictional prose narrative[...]The greater length of the novel[...]permits authors to develop one or more characters [characterization], to establish their motivation, and to construct intricate plots (Murfin and Ray 302) Patriarchal: A Term used by feminist critics who consider Western Society to be `father-ruled,` That is, dominated and generally controlled by men upholding and promoting masculine values that, in turn, maintain men in positions of power (Murfin And Ray 333). Epistolary Fiction: Fiction whose plot is entirely developed through letters, whether through an exchange of letters between multiple characters or through the correspondence of only one character (Murfin and Ray 141) Omniscient Third-person Narrator: An author taking the omniscient point of view assumes the vantage point of an all-knowing narrator able not only to recount the action thoroughly and reliability but also to enter the mind of any character at any time in order to reveal his or her thoughts, feelings and beliefs directly to the reader. (Such a narrator, it should be pointed out, can conceal as well as reveal at will) (Murfin and Ray 353) Novella: As commonly used today, a term referring to a fictional prose narrative ranging from fifty to one hundred pages in length, that is, a work longer than a short story but shorter than a novel (Murfin and Ray 308) Sentimental Fiction: Portrays emotional situations and evokes emotional responses in readers Scenes of distress and tenderness Chopin read this kind of fiction as a girl Harriet Beecher Stowe, Susan Warner Dressing was sad work to Ellen today; it went on very heavily. Tears dropped in to the water as she stooped her head to the basin. (Warner) Local Color Fiction: Popular at the time of The Awakening was published. Prose that is chiefly interested in depicting the distinctive characteristics (dialect, dress, mannerisms, culture, etc.) of a particular region (Murfin and Ray) Before publishing the novella, Chopin had made a name for herself as a local colour writer by publishing stories. Mary Wilkins Freeman, Sarah Orne Jewett. Short story: a brief fictional prose narrative shorter than a novel meticulous and deliberate craftsmanship may involve definite plot structure, complexity of characterization and often a point of view from which the story Is told relatively simple purpose [or single focus], which is generally to reveal essential aspects of a character or characters, not to show character development over me

EN119A READING FICTION

LITERARY TERMS AND DEFINITIONS

29/11/2011

Can find unity in: plot, effect, theme, character, tone, mood, style Colonialism: the subjection of one people to another , it can involve physical, political economic and cultural domination Post-colonial Literature: refers to a body of literature written by authors with roots in countries that were once colonies established by European nations (Murfin and Ray 356). Deconstruction: involves the close reading of texts in order to demonstrate that any given text has irreconcilably contradictory meanings, rather than being a unified, logical whole (Murfin And Ray 91) Magical Realism: A mode or genre in prose fiction often associated with postmodernism and characterized by a mixture of fantastic and realistic elements. Works of magical realism are set in the real world and treat the magical or supernatural as an inherent, even mundane part of reality requiring no explanation .Many magic realist works also address cultural hybridity and postcolonial themes, exploring the intersection of colonizers and the colonized, rural and urban folk (Murfin and Ray 279) Realism: The attitude or practice of accepting a situation as it is and being prepared to deal with it accordingly. The movement or style of representing familiar things as they actually are. The attribute of accepting the facts of life and favoring practicality and literal truth. Metafiction: Fictional writing which self-consciously and systemaBcally draws attention to its status as an artifact in order to pose questions about the relationship between fiction and reality (Patricia Waugh, qtd. In Murfin and Ray 296). Focalization: The position or quality of consciousness through which we see events in the narrative. In English and North American [literary] criticism, the phrase point of view has been used for this concept, but point of view is more general and often includes the concept of voice (Abbott 190) This sounds convoluted essentially, focalization is what we see and voice (sometimes conflated with point of view in Am. and British literature) is what we hear Ex. In The Awakening, through Leonce's perspective, we see Robert and Edna walking up the beach. This passage is focalized through Leonce's character. Stream-of-Consciousness: a literary technique that approximates the flow (or jumble) of thoughts and sensory impressions that pass through the mind each

EN119A READING FICTION

LITERARY TERMS AND DEFINITIONS

29/11/2011

instant[...]Works written by authors using this technique frequently appear to be choppy or fragmented just as our thoughts, emotions, and sensory impressions often are (Murfin and Ray 456) Modern Period (British and Am.literary): A period in English and American literary history beginning in 1914 with the outbreak of World War I and ending in 1945 with the conclusion of World War II[...]The Modern Period is noted for works characterized by a transnational focus, stylistic unconventionality, or interest in repressed sub- or unconscious material; it includes works written in just about every established genre (Murfin and Ray 269) Associational Literature: Describes'a'native'community' Focuses on the daily actvites and intricacies of Native life a rather flat narrative line leans towards the group ' eschews judgments and conclusions Allows non-Native readers to associate with that world without being encouraged to feel a part of it Metaphor: A figure of speech (more specifically a trope) that associates two distinct things; the representation of one thing by another. The image (or activity or concept) used to represent or figure something else is the vehicle of the figure of speech; the thing represented is called the tenor. For instance, in the sentence The child is a mouse, the child is the tenor, whereas the mouse is the vehicle. The image of a mouse is being used to represent the child, perhaps to emphasize his or her timidity (Murfin and Ray 260) Simile: A figure of speech (or more specifically a trope) that compares two distinct things by using words such as like or as to link the vehicle and the tenor (see metaphor) (Murfin and Ray 447) Allusion: An indirect reference to a person, event, statement, or theme found in literature, the other arts, history, myths, religion, or popular culture (Murfin and Ray 11) Folklore: The beliefs, traditions, rituals, stories, and other creative expressions of ordinary people, or folk, that have been transmitted orally or shared by example through successive generations. Folklore encompasses a wide range of community traditions that tend to evolve over time and that may be articulated through ballads, tales, epics, dramas, legends, and myths, as well as through less literary forms such as folk tales (Murfin and Ray 169)