Dictionary of Literary Themes and Motifs, Volume 1

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 1988 - Comparative literature - 1507 pages

This index is a veritable who's who of the greats of Western literature. . . . The Board recommends it for every collection whose users conduct analytical studies of literature. Reference Books Bulletin

The powerful hold that literature exercises is based primarily on recognition--the reader's ability to identify with others through shared human concerns that transcend ttace, time, and cultural boundaries. These universal themes, and how they have been treated in literature from the classical period to the present, are the subject of the critical essays comprising this volume. A fascinating resource for students and general readers and an essential research tool for scholars in literature, it is the first thematic reference on this scale to be published in English.

The dictionary consists of 143 essays contributed by 98 specialists in world literature. Topics covered include themes relating to adventure, family life, the supernatural, eroticism, status, humor, idealism, terror, and many other categories of human experience. Each entry begins with a defintion and a sketch on the origin and historical background of the literary theme. The topical essay discusses the significance and occurrence of the theme in world literature and supplies information on geographical area, genre, style, and chronology. Entries conclude with a selected bibliography of scholarship in the area. A cross-index to themes and motifs will enable the reader to find information on secondary or related topics. Convenient to use and presented in a standardized format, this major new reference will be an important acquisition for libraries with collections in English, American, and world literature.

 

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Dictionary of literary themes and motifs

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This is a major encyclopedia for comparative literature and, secondarily, the history of ideas. Coming from 98 contributors, the 143 articles vary widely in scope and method. But a typical entry ... Read full review

Contents

Adolescence
1
Afterlife
10
Alchemy
18
Alienation
31
Amazons
43
Androgyny
49
AntiHero
59
AntiIntellectualism
65
Dance of Death
321
Death and the Individual
328
Demonic Music
346
Demonic Musician and the Soulbird
358
Descent into Hell
363
Detective
372
Dialogue
387
Divine Tutor
395

AntiSemitism
73
Anxiety
84
Apocalypse
87
Apology SelfDefense of Satirists and Humorists
97
Arcadia
105
Artist in Literature through the Renaissance
112
ArtistPoet in Drama since the Renaissance
129
Autobiographical Impulse
135
Banker Financier and Usurer
143
Bear
157
Beat Generation
162
La Belle Dame sans Merci
169
Birth of the Hero
175
Braggart
191
Butterflies
198
Capitalism
207
Cave
222
Christian Hero
231
Christianity versus Christendom
237
Cinema
248
City
257
Clothing
264
Comedy Comic Spirit
275
Comic Hero
286
Crippling
295
Daemon
299
Dance
307
Dragons
400
Dream
406
Dwarf
414
Dystopias
421
Eating
431
Emblem
439
Epistemology
450
Escape
460
Evil
470
Existentialism
485
Family
497
Feminism
511
Fool
526
Fortune
538
Great Father
547
Grotesque
559
Hermit
573
Hieroglyphics
581
Hippie
590
History in American Literature
601
Homosexuality
609
Horror
622
Hunt
634
Incest
649
Incubus and Succubus
665
Jealousy
675
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About the author (1988)

JEAN-CHARLES SEIGNEURET is Professor of Romance Languages and Literature at the University of Cincinnati. He has published a number of articles on French literature, culture, and philolgy, as well as professional concerns.

A. OWEN ALDRIDGE is Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Illinois.

ARMIN ARNOLD is Auxiliary Professor of German at McGill University, Montreal, and Dozent of Hohere Wirtschafts-und Verwaltungsschule in Osten, Switzerland.

PETER H. LEE is Professor of Korean and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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