Top positive review
12 people found this helpful
Excellent resource for literature teachers and students
on May 16, 2013
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.