For all those who have become entangled in the ever-burgeoning sphere of confusing literary terminology, Professors Karl Beckson and Arthur Ganz provide clear and entertaining explanations, in this, their now-classic reference work. From abecedarius to zeugma, they gracefully guide the reader through the intricacies of literary forms and ideas. Over the years, Literary Terms has been revised and enlarged as Professors Beckson and Ganz have added new entries from recent literary theory and scholarship, bringing the total number of entries to over 900. It is an indispensable asset for understanding such concepts as deconstruction, Russian Formalism, feminist criticism, psychoanalytic criticism, semiotics, and the surfeit of others that have emerged in the ongoing process of interpreting literature.
Throughout the text, numerous helpful examples drawn from a multitude of sources—nursery rhymes to Shakespeare—clarify the concepts discussed. In addition, not only the terminology itself but also the historical and philosophical background necessary to a fuller understanding of any work is examined. The result is a readable dictionary that illuminates as much as it delights, providing essential information for the student as well as the professional.