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The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (Oxford Quick Reference) Paperback – 20 Mar 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; 3 edition (20 Mar. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199208271
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199208272
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 2.5 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 104,986 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Review

Review from previous edition This dictionary's virtues and its plain-spokenness make it ... as apt to the bedside table as to the desk: Dr Baldick is a Brewer for specialized tastes (Times Literary Supplement)

fun to read ... first rate (Toronto Globe and Mail)

About the Author

Chris Baldick is Professor of English at Goldsmiths' College, University of London. He edited The Oxford Book of Gothic Tales (1992), and is the author of The Oxford English Literary History, Volume 10 (1910-1940): The Modern Movement (2004), In Frankenstein's Shadow (1987), Criticism and Literary Theory 1890 to the Present (1996), and other works of literary history. He has edited, with Rob Morrison, Tales of Terror from Blackwood's Magazine, and The Vampyre and Other Tales of the Macabre, and has written an introduction to Charles Maturin's Melmoth the Wanderer (all available in the Oxford World's Classics series).


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This paperback (preferable to the Kindle version for ease of use and browsing) is a gem: arranged with the terms in alphabetical order, it lists what seem to be hundreds of technical terms of literary criticism with asterisks by those that are cross-referenced. It ranges from the most basic such as "metaphor" to the more obscure but nevertheless useful words such as "anaphora" (with examples). There are foreign terms like "commedia dell'arte" and "longueur" as well as the very modern "deconstruction". Movements such as the Lake Poets or the New Apocalypse are described simply and clearly; all the definitions are in ordinary standard English and lucidly written. It has some basic Classical terms like "chiasmus" and "occupatio" right through to the semi-colloquial "chick lit". The definitions are quite tight with "pathetic fallacy" as natural phenomena being described as having human feelings whereas you may come across it used more loosely as natural background reflecting mood with no tinge of personification. But this is a good thing in a dictionary whose aim is to preserve and propagate useful terms. You will not regret buying it: it is a first class piece of work and the best I have found.
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Format: Paperback
This book was invaluable for my English literature work.
It has all kinds of entries from all genres, dictionary style, and gives recommendations for further reading within the definitions.
My work and general understanding of the literary terms has greatly improved, and I know I can always consult this!
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An invaluable book for any student of English Literature. This book contained terms that I had never even even heard of prior to starting my university course and has been extremely useful in explaining many of the technical terms. I feel as though my knowledge of literary terms has greatly increased and this is reflected in the improved marks which I have recently attained in my essays as a result of this.
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I've had this book for about a year now and have been popping in and out of it regularly, looking for an explanation of what terms mean in the literature books I study. The terms I've looked up have always been in the book. The explanations are always good enough for me to understand what the terms mean.

The book is well organised and I've been impressed with the willingness of the writer(s?) to refer to examples and then print them. Such as under 'sibilance' which I recently had to look up; the book describes what the term means "The marked reference of the 'hissing' sounds known as sibilants", then gives examples such as "(usually spelt s, sh, zh, c)" then says where it's usually used "The effect, also known as sigmatism after the Greek letter sigma, is often exploited in poetry, as in Longfellow's lines" and then a proper example: "Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing;\ Only a signal shown and a distant voice in the darkness".

It's arranged alphabetically and there's a pronunciation guide at the front (which I've never used as I'm only reading or writing these terms).

Looking through the terms, it's pretty broad what they've included. For example I wouldn't have expected to find synaesthesia in there, as it's not a literary term, but it says it's found in poetry including Keats.

So yes, I do recommend this book to all students and scholars of literature, particularly those who are expected to understand and use poetic terms.
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This book has been invaluable to me as I have begun teaching A Level English Literature and I don't know all the terms! Now I have this book at my fingertips to produce when I don't know a literary feature or term and I have learnt a lot since buying it several weeks ago.
I recommend this book to anyone teaching A Level English Literature.
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I'm studying English literature so anything that can help me understand things better is welcome. This is a cut-and-dry book and it gets the job done. I think A glossary of Literary Terms by Geoffrey Galt Harpham may be better because it is more detailed but this one is fine too.
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If you are studying English Lit then this book is vital. It is easy to read and the layout is good. I have used it time after time. Good condition and arrived in the time stated.
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The book is a huge help for all stages of literary study. I used it starting from my undergraduate degree up until my PhD, and it seems it will keep proving to be valuable.
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