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The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory
by J.A. Cuddon
The latest installment of this trusted literary companion covers all aspects of literary theory, from definitions of technical terms to characterizations of literary movements. Geared toward students, teachers, readers, and writers alike, The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory explains critical jargon (intertextuality, aporia), schools of literary the ...more
Paperback, Fourth Edition, 1024 pages
Published February 1st 2000 by Penguin Books
(first published 1982)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,400)
An amazing behemoth of a book.... It is more like journeying through a complex, exotic map of a secret island than reading. I came across some of the loveliest terms that tickled and rolled on my tongue like the sweetest honey.. roman-feuilleton, litotes, duologue, effulgent.... Although a very academic work, I read it like a poem, explored it like silent children examining delightfully intriguing puzzle-boxes - leisurely lingering over descriptions, tracing terms of similar meaning and meanderi ...more
Not really recommended. Many of the terms are out of date, self-explanatory, and/or very rarely used in literary studies today. Missing several really key terms/concepts (don't really recall what they were off the top of my head, but basically any time I've actually *needed* to use this book as a reference the term I need is not in it). The definitions it does give are so broad and vague (and usually outdated) as to not be of any use at all (e.g. the entry on Marxist criticism is very outdated; ...more
This is an absolutely fantastic resource to turn to when doing literary terms and theory research for upper-level English courses. I used to borrow it from the library so much that I ended up buying it. I refer to it all the time for my English courses to not only further my own knowledge but also to have fantastic definitions or backgrounds on theorists.
Although it is regularly released in new editions to include new entries and opinions, I still find by the time its published it's already quite out-of-date. Nevertheless, for what I needed it for, it was very easy to use, and the information that I found was fairly comprehensive.