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Terminology of Literary Criticism

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University of Regina
Deborah Hoffmann

Note: Office hours - Wednesday 11:30-1:30 Grammar Seminar: Wednesday Jan 15th/22nd 2:30 - 3:30 First assignment due Feb. 3rd Second Essay: March 7th or 10th Research Essay: April 7th or 9th Terminology of Literary Criticism: - Fiction (Lat. - Fictio ): n. A shaping or a counterfeiting. - - The events of fiction are coloured and shaped in some way away from truth. - Never assume the author is the narrator nor that they share the same values, perspectives. - Short Story: A condensed form of fiction. - - Shorter than a novella or novel. The shortest form of fiction. - Novella: A piece of fiction longer than a short story but shorter than a novel. - - Must be long enough to be published independently. - Often has unity of purpose. - Turns around a single incident, problem, or issue. - Subplots are not very common. - Limited number of characters, often focusing on only one or two - Typically limited to one location and a shorter period of time than in a novel. - Novel: A book like form of fiction. - Story: Everything that happens in a work of literature. - Plot: The way in which the author relates the events of the story; particular actions and events to which a character reacts. - - Linked with the reactions of the central character. - Can be presented chronologically or otherwise. - - e.g. Flash forward/back - In medias res : Latin: In the middle of things - Parts of the Plot: - - Exposition: - - Introduces characters, setting, background, etc. - Often at the beginning of the story. - Often contains the seed of the conflict. - Rising Action: - - Usually follows the Exposition. - Usually contains the Inciting Incident (the moment that destabilizes the initial status quo and initiates conflict). - Complicates the initial conflict and builds in intensity. - Conflict: - - The entire plot hinges around at least one conflict. - Can be either external or internal in relation to the main character. - Internal conflicts take place within the character (e.g. desires, emotional conflict around an event). - Climax: - - The height of the conflict - Character has a realization, or epiphany, that causes the character to change. - Falling Action or Resolution: - - Emotional intensity begins to subside. - Works toward resolving the conflict. - Conclusion: - - Emotional and thematic resolution - May include or
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