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Hayden White

Hayden White  

(1928–)Americanhistorian best known for his post-structuralist approach and his emphasis on the importance of tropes in historiography. Educated at Wayne State University and the University of ...
hysterical sublime

hysterical sublime  

Fredric Jameson's suggested term for a reformulated vision of the sublime (in Kant's sense) focused on technology rather than nature. Kant defined nature as sublime because it consistently exceeds ...
Roman Jakobson

Roman Jakobson  

Best known for his contributions to phonology,Jakobson was born on 11 October 1896 in Moscow, and died in Boston on 18 July 1982. It was in Moscow that he ...
Empire

Empire  

A prophetic and utopian concept which attempts to theorize in philosophical terms the nature of the new paradigm of power and right that emerged alongside globalization in the latter half of the 20th ...
Henri Lefebvre

Henri Lefebvre  

(1901–91)French*Marxistphilosopher and sociologist. Lefebvre published 70 books in his lifetime on an incredibly wide array of topics, and is generally regarded as one of the great theoreticians of ...
Ernst Bloch

Ernst Bloch  

(1885–1977)GermanMarxist philosopher, social critic and utopianist. Bloch was born in the industrial town of Ludwigshafen. His father was an assimilated Jew of modest means who worked as an official ...
Jean-Luc Nancy

Jean-Luc Nancy  

(1940–)Frenchpost-structuralist philosopher. A prolific author of books on the German Romantic tradition in philosophy, including its 20th century adherents such as Martin Heidegger.Born in Caudéran, ...
simulacrum

simulacrum  

Although the term has been around since Plato's time, it is really only in the 20th century that it has acquired the significance it has today. The two most important names that have come to be ...
ut pictura poesis

ut pictura poesis   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (4 ed.)

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2015

...the Roman poet Horace in his Ars Poetica ( c .20 bce ), meaning ‘as painting is, so is poetry’. The phrase has come to stand for the principle of similarity between the two arts, an idea shared by many writers and artists of different periods and found in common metaphors of literary ‘depiction’ or ‘portrayal’. It held an important place in aesthetic debates of the late Renaissance and in the theories of neoclassicism , but was subjected to an important critique by the German dramatist and critic G. E. Lessing in his essay Laokoon ( 1766 ). The...

half-rhyme

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The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (4 ed.)

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2015

...Employed regularly in early Icelandic, Irish, and Welsh poetry, half-rhyme appeared only as an occasional poetic licence in English verse until the late 19th century, when Emily Dickinson and G. M. Hopkins made frequent use of it. The example provided by W. B. Yeats and Wilfred Owen has encouraged its increasingly widespread use in English since the early 20th century. See also eye rhyme...

paradox

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The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (4 ed.)

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2015

...seeking another sense or context in which it would be true (although some paradoxes cannot be resolved into truths, remaining flatly self-contradictory, e.g. Everything I say is a lie ). Wordsworth’s line ‘The Child is father of the Man’ and Shakespeare ’s ‘the truest poetry is the most feigning’ are notable literary examples. Ancient theorists of rhetoric described paradox as a figure of speech, but 20th-century critics have given it a higher importance as a mode of understanding by which poetry challenges our habits of thought. Paradox was cultivated...

literary history

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The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (4 ed.)

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2015

...literary treasures (understood to disclose the essential national ‘spirit’) of a given nation or linguistic community, e.g. the German- or English- or Spanish-speaking peoples. In the early 20th century it came under some challenge for its habits of tracing sources, influences, and movements on the larger scale without addressing the unique value of the individual literary work; and its former prestige in the academic study of literature suffered under the rival claims of criticism and Theory . Classic modern examples in English include C. S. Lewis ’s ...

realism

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The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (4 ed.)

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2015

...Realism also established itself as an important tradition in the theatre in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, in the work of Henrik Ibsen , Bernard Shaw , and others; and it remains a standard convention of film and television drama. Despite the radical attempts of modernism to displace the realist emphasis on external reality (notably in the movements of expressionism and surrealism ), realism survived as a major current within 20th-century fiction, sometimes under the label of neo-realism . Further reading: Pam Morris , Realism ...

Cambridge school

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The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (4 ed.)

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2015

... and myth as the Cambridge school, although more often known as the Cambridge Ritualists or the myth-and-ritual school, was made up of the classical scholars Jane Harrison , Gilbert Murray , F. M. Cornford , and A. B. Cook , who in the early 20th century applied the anthropological theories of J. G. Frazer ’s The Golden Bough ( 1890–1915 ) to the origins of Greek tragedy, arguing that the drama was derived from religious rituals. Their views influenced the development of myth criticism . Further reading: Robert Ackerman , The Myth and Ritual...

function

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The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (4 ed.)

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2015

...a context beyond itself, conveying some information; the phatic function is oriented to the ‘contact’ between addresser and addressee, maintaining or confirming their link (e.g., in conversation, ‘well, here we are, then’; or by radio, ‘receiving you loud and clear’); the metalingual function is oriented towards the code , usually to establish that it is shared by both parties (e.g. ‘understood?’ or ‘it depends what you mean by…’); finally, the poetic function is oriented towards the ‘message’ itself, that is, to the communication’s linguistic features...

literature

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The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (4 ed.)

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2015

...A body of written works related by subject-matter (e.g. the literature of computing), by language or place of origin (e.g. Russian literature), or by prevailing cultural standards of merit. In this last sense, ‘literature’ is taken to include oral, dramatic, and broadcast compositions that may not have been published in written form but which have been (or deserve to be) preserved. Since the 19th century, the broader sense of literature as a totality of written or printed works has given way to more exclusive definitions based on criteria of...

archetype

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The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (4 ed.)

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...Canadian critic Northrop Frye put forward an influential model of literature based on this proposition in Anatomy of Criticism ( 1957 ). Archetypal criticism originated in the early 20th century from the speculations of the British anthropologist J. G. Frazer in The Golden Bough ( 1890–1915 )—a comparative study of mythologies—and from those of the Swiss psychologist C. G. Jung , who in the 1920s proposed that certain symbols in dreams and myths were residues of ancestral memory preserved in the collective unconscious. More recently, critics have been...

biography

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The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (4 ed.)

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2015

...of biographical essays, Eminent Victorians ( 1918 ). The 20th century also saw the emergence of psychobiography , informed by psychoanalytic theories of development, and of sensational biographies exposing the sexual and other personal secrets of famous figures. Biography has a number of subgenres , of which the most important is autobiography , in which the subject and the author are the same person. Other recognized types are distinguished by the walk of life in which the subject was noted, e.g. political, military, artistic, theatrical, scientific,...

classicism

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The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (4 ed.)

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2015

...or Roman models in subject-matter (e.g. Greek legends) or in form (by the adoption of genres like tragedy , epic , ode , or verse satire ), or both. As a literary doctrine, classicism holds that the writer must be governed by rules, models, or conventions, rather than by wayward inspiration: in its most strictly codified form in the 17th and 18th centuries ( see neo-classicism ), it required the observance of rules derived from Aristotle ’s Poetics (4th century bce ) and Horace ’s Ars Poetica ( c .20 bce ), principally those of decorum and...

detective story

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The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (4 ed.)

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2015

...( 1841 ) and Arthur Conan Doyle ’s stories in the Strand magazine collected in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes ( 1892 ) and several later volumes, to the Father Brown stories ( 1911–35 ) of G. K. Chesterton . The full-length detective novel was inaugurated in France by Emile Gaboriau ’s L’Affaire Lerouge ( 1866 ), and grew in importance in the early 20th century with the success of such major practitioners as Agatha Christie (from her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles , 1920 ) and the Belgian author Georges Simenon (from his first...

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