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A Glossary of Literary Terms, Sixth Edition

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  576 ratings  ·  35 reviews

First published in 1957, A Glossary of Literary Terms contains succinct essays on the terms used in discussing literature, literary history, and literary criticism. This text is an indispensable reference for students.
Paperback, 301 pages
Published October 11th 1992 by Harcourt (first published 1957)
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I had to buy this book for some class many many moons ago, and I thought it would be old hat by now, what with it sitting gathering dust on the shelf over the years.

Surprisingly, though, after thinking I was just going to refresh my memory on little morsels like adynaton, hypozeugma, and all the many convoluted methods of scansion, I actually ended up spending more time with it than I had intended, led on by its interesting background commentary.

What makes it nice, is that it is more than just a
Lit Bug
One of the best books available for a swift but meaningful study of every new term you can find in the academic study of English literature. Brief, to-the-point, clear and intelligible - it is a rich book for everyone seeking to systematically understand English literature.
Mike Puma
Aug 29, 2010 Mike Puma rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lit majors & lit crit readers
Shelves: lit-crit
Indispensable. While I usually refer to Harmon & Holman first (A Handbook to Literature), I come back to this volume for more depth. Collectively, they make a great pair.
Nidhi Singh
Due to lack of time I had decided to do a selective study, but Abrams lured me into reading the whole of it.
The "read" status I've given this book is purely for convenience: it is one that anyone who enjoys the nuts and bolts of literature as much as the actual product should always have on hand, whether to help answer a specific question, satisfy a vague curiosity, or use lucky dip style to discover something new about literature, and, by extension, the world.

This book represents a body of knowledge approached and collated by the same scholar, making for a compact, easily accessible, and, best of all
I can't believe I'm actually done with this monster of a book. Didn't exactly love it, but learned from it so much, so incredibly much. I don't currently feel like discussing it or whatever; when you finish reading something like this, all you feel like doing is DANCING. So that's what I'm gonna do.
Over-elaborate where it should be more concise, too concise where more explanation would be appreciated.
I know this book is well-known and I know how many people praise this book. But after referring to several Glossaries of Literary Terms, I realized that such kinds of books still have a long way to go. That is because none of them provide enough information on certain subjects and some of them do not have all the terms I needed to know about. Based on what I have learned, simplicity is the key to writing books and teaching. A technical book is supposed to be as simple and comprehensive as possib ...more
This book has gathered literary terms of English language in one place successfully. Those students who wants to give English literature exam should get prepared with the help of this book. I can't say this is great since this was the only reference I had in my hand recommended by my fellow friend who had got his Master degree the mentioned field.
This book would be the very best choice if anyone intends to get the cocktail knowledge in literature. Term after term, you would get dazzled in this pool——or the sea——of signifiers. And then being furnished with those techniqucal terms, your talk would shine with a gloss of wisdom (or wit?). Well, it is exactly the very charm of this glossary.

Tracing the terms one from another, a chain, a circle, or even a net of signifers would come out with malicious sense of guile. You sit down, and read
This glossary is the most referred book I guess in history for English students around the world among the other book(Norton anthology of this writer)you might wonder why I'm saying this?O..there's nothing in the world which can not be find in this book!

Simply if you're an English student or even a Literature student to be precise, hold this book!It's gonna be your closest friend on earth after your pet :-)

As I mentioned above this is a reference book mainly because it's functionality is as same
Sep 08, 2012 Sarah rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone seriously analysing literary works
Very, very useful as a glossary of literary terms, as the book is named. The next time I read this, it shall be for the purpose of looking up a term or reference, as a dictionary ought to be used. I regard this as a treasure chest of interesting trivia and other information. Each term is very neatly discussed, explained and elaborated. But perhaps I ought to admit: I have skimmed through many pages, especially towards the end of the book - mainly, I'm not that interested in the subject matter, a ...more
I can't live without this reference.
RIP M.H. Abrams. we are immeasurably indebted to you. Nothing can beat this book when you need help with concepts and facts. it's an amazing mixture of encyclopedic literary history, analysis, theory and of course literary terms. it's elegant and precise. highly recommended for a thorough grounding and even getting started with English literature. But what Abrams has given us will serve generations to come.
Indispensible. I was always referring to it during my Lit Crit degree. Explanations of theories of literary criticism were so much easier to understand when this book was close by.
I have found this useful in both college classes and when then teaching the terms to my students. The definitions are very extensive and informative.
I suppose it's useful, but really, the words here could be found in a dictionary, so its useless at the same time. Conveniently useless.
I've used this as a resource for years, but I read it from cover to cover for the first time ever. Studying for the Praxis is such fun.
This book was a constant reference for me as I worked my way to a philological degree in literature of the American and British canons.
I read this almost straight-through my freshman year, even though it's just a glossary. Very thorough and, somehow, fun.
I think I read this book as a child but it is well worth reading - an old fashioned cracking yarn!
Mariyah Rahman
a compact knowledge bank of literary terms...very useful for students of english literature.
Apr 11, 2008 Brittany rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: English students
Recommended to Brittany by: Dr Kopar
Shelves: textbooks
Very helpful quick-reference of terms. Especially when writing a literature paper.
Looks to be very useful. My lecturer for poetry uses this one a lot in his handouts.
Bought this when I thought I would be writing more. Good reference book.
"An extremely useful glossary for literary terms, trends nad concepts."
Read this for Literary Criticism (with Dr. Horton, correspondence).
I use this book everyday
like my Bible.. my Bhagvad Gita
Marshall Wayne Lee
Yes I'm currently reading this letter by letter.
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Meyer Howard Abrams is an American literary critic, known for works on Romanticism, in particular his book The Mirror and the Lamp. In a powerful contrast, Abrams shows that until the Romantics, literature was usually understood as a mirror, reflecting the real world, in some kind of mimesis; but for the Romantics, writing was more like a lamp: the light of the writer's inner soul spilled out to i ...more
More about M.H. Abrams...
The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume 1: The Middle Ages through the Restoration & the Eighteenth Century The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume 2: The Romantic Period through the Twentieth Century The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. B: The Sixteenth Century & The Early Seventeenth Century The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. A: Middle Ages The Mirror and the Lamp: Romantic Theory and the Critical Tradition

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