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The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (Oxford Quick Reference) 3rd Edition

32 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0199208272
ISBN-10: 0199208271
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Editorial Reviews

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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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford Quick Reference
  • Paperback: 357 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 3rd edition (February 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199208271
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199208272
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 1 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Winn on May 24, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Oxford Dicionary of Literary Terms is a reference anyone who writes or reads literature or poetry should have on their shelves. It includes Latin and Greek terms for drama, more words describing poetry than I knew existed, and covers both classic literature and modern genre fiction.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Z Hayes HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on May 16, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was looking for a resource on literary terms and was glad when I came across this little gem of a book. "The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms" is paperback-sized and contains over 1,200 literary terms with well-defined entries. It is alphabetically-arranged and though not an exhaustive work (it is not a catalog of all known literary terms), it does cover a lot of the literary terms in use today.

This dictionary is useful in explaining literary terms to readers in a manner that is accessible, even to a layperson. A lot of the terms are accompanied by a pronunciation guide next to the word, followed by the definition. However, this alone doesn't merit the five stars I've assigned to this work. I especially appreciated the brief details accompanying the definition for a particular term which provides insights as to the context within which the word is used. For example, the term "anaphora" is defined thus:

anaphora [a-naf-ŏ-rӑ] A rhetorical *figure of repetition in which the same word or phrase is repeated in (and usually at the beginning of) successive lines, clauses, or sentences. Found very often in both verse and prose, it was a device favoured by Dickens and used frequently in the *free verse of Walt Whitman. These lines by Emily Dickinson illustrate the device:

Mine - by the Right of the White Election!
Mine - by the Royal Seal!
Mine - by the Sign in the Scarlet prison
Bars - cannot conceal!

Adjective: anaphoral or anaphoric. See also EPISTROPHE.

It's these attention to details that makes this a valuable resource on literary terms. Recommended for anyone with an interest in literature, and especially for teachers and students of literature.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Melissa on January 23, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very inexpensive yet comprehensive. Needed to brush up on the vocabulary of literature and its analysis and interpretation prior to sitting for the associated CLEP examination. Becoming familiar with the contents of this book allowed me to sail through the test (which included the composition portion at my university) and earn the credits without having to take the courses.
Highly recommend.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Hunt on December 23, 2012
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This is a very useful addition to my professional library. The style is easy to read and understand even when the terms dealt with aren't.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lucy's Mom on August 17, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an excellent dictionary of literary terms. I especially like that the electronic version is very easy to use since it allows the user to toggle back and forth between the definitions and the overall list of terms. I ordered it for a class I'm teaching and plan to encourage students to purchase the electronic version. These days, so many students use their phones as readers (their eyes MUST be better than mine), a practice I discourage because it's easier to reference pages in a print version in class. In the case of The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms, having it on their phones would be an excellent idea, an always present reference tool.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Linda Stewart on September 18, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms is an excellent resource that clearly explains wordage assocated with literature. It provides definitions and examples. I initially order the book on my Kindle, but discovered that it did not have a word search-by- spelling capability like other Kindle dictionaries. This was disappointing, so I ordered the paperback which is much easier to use.

Linda Stewart
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gary M Robins on July 4, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
OED specific for literature. Tremendous asset when writing papers for literary analysis.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I needed this as reference for my literary reading. It is always good to be able to refer back to this dictionary when analyzing text especially poetic text such as my Walt Whitman or James Joyce. I used to have this type of text in my REAL library and would access it when reading ....clearly the accessibility with the Kindle and WHILE READING is such an asset. I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT....I can several reference texts or books available during the reading of any novel or text.......I AM IN LOVE WITH MY KINDLE and I LOVE OXFORD ANYTHING....best digital reference ....as ALWAYS BEING BEST REFERENCE ALWAYS....
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