An Illustrated Dictionary of Little-Known Words from Literary Classics

Front Cover
Abc-Clio Incorporated, 1995 - Literary Criticism - 343 pages
0 Reviews
In Moby-Dick, nautical terms are pivotal, while Flowers for Algernon hinges on psychological jargon. An Illustrated Dictionary of Little-Known Words from Literary Classics is a compendium of these terms and others encountered in Western classics as well as multi-cultural literature and other works outside the traditional canon. School curricula and reading lists from the American Library Association and the National Council of Teachers of English were used to help choose the works covered, a selection that includes the books likely to be leisure or required reading for today's students.
Words such as carcinoma, cenotaph, Grumman, Molotov flower basket, strafe, and tomographic scan - all found and perhaps stumbled over in John Hersey's Hiroshima - are defined and their historical background or derivation given. Entries include architecture: apse, campanile, grotto, peristyle, plinth; dance: czardas, gavotte, juba, moochie, taxi tips; insults: dandy, momzer, ofay, peckerwood, tosspot; supernatural: arch-fiend, cabbala, fakir, gematriya, geomancer; and weights and measures: dram, fee sheet, intercalary month, stone, verst.
Entries are alphabetized and cross-referenced to allow the reader to return quickly to the classic at hand, although some of the eyecatching and befuddling words may inspire browsing. This profusely illustrated dictionary will enhance the literary adventures of teachers, students, writers, literati, and literary neophytes alike.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Subject Index

About the author (1995)

Mary Ellen Snodgrass was born on February 29, 1944 in Wlimington, North Carolina. She is an award-winning author of textbooks and general reference works, and a former columnist for the Charlotte Observer. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, she graduated magna cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Appalachian State University, and holds degrees in English, Latin, psychology, and education of gifted children. She teaches English and Latin at Lenoir Rhyne University. In addition to her membership on the North Carolina Library Board, she serves the N.C. Humanities Commission as a traveling lecturer. She has also held jobs as a freelance writer for the Charlotte Observer along with being a columnist, and book reviewer for them. She has also worked on the Canadian Medical Association Journal, American Guidance Service, American Reference Books Annual and Cliffs Notes along with being a professor of Latin and English, Lenoir Rhyne University, 2008-2010. Her works include Michel Faber and Feminism: The Neo-Gothic Novel, Leslie Marmon Silko, The Civil War Era and Reconstruction: An Encyclopedia of Social, Political, Cultural, and Economic History, and World Food.

Bibliographic information