Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (Oxford Quick Reference)
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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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on May 24, 2009
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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on August 17, 2014
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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on February 25, 2015
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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on January 23, 2012
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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on September 18, 2012
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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on December 23, 2012
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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on May 8, 2014
If you've ever asked this question of any literary critic ... this little book will generally give you a pretty good answer. I've always been impressed by publications from Oxford Press ... inexpensive paperbacks that give you what you need to know. But then, "No one have ever built a statue/monument of a Literary Critic".
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on January 12, 2013
I had read about this dictionary and my college professor recommended it. This dictionary has all the terms my instructors are using . The definitions are directed toward the definition in literature and there are also good insightful additions to the historic usage.

I would recommend this book to all who want to know more about literature.
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on July 4, 2014
OED specific for literature. Tremendous asset when writing papers for literary analysis.
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