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Parent categories: literature - technique
Related: literary criticism - literary theory - self-reference
Literary technique, also called literary device. Novels and short stories do not simply come from nowhere. Usually the author employs some general literary technique as a framework for artistic work.
Annotated List of Literary Techniques
Authors also manipulate the language of their works to create a desired response from the reader. This is the realm of the rhetorical devices. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literary_technique, Feb 2004
- Author surrogate, a character who acts as the author's spokesman.
- Autobiographical novel, tales of the author's life as seen by the author in fictional form; sometimes significant changes are made. An example is James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.
- Breaking the fourth wall is acknowledging to the reader or audience that what is being presented is fiction.
- Constrained writing, in which artificial constraints, such as "no words containing the letter 'e'", are imposed.
- Epistolary novel, novel in the form of letters exchanged between the characters. Examples include Samuel Richardson's Pamela, Tobias Smollett's Humphry Clinker, Bram Stoker's Dracula.
- False documents, fiction written in the form of, or about, apparently real, but actually fake documents. Examples include Robert Graves' I, Claudius, a fictional autobiography of the Roman emperor Claudius; and H.P. Lovecraft's Necronomicon, a fictional book of evil that appeared frequently in horror fiction and film, written by both Lovecraft and his admirers.
- First-person narrative, the narrator tells their own tale
- Flashback, general term for altering time sequences, taking characters back to the beginning of the tale, for instance.
- Frame tale, or a story within a story, where a main story is used to organise a series of shorter stories
- Historical novel, story set amidst historical events, pioneered by Sir Walter Scott in his novels of Scottish history. Protagonists may be fictional or historical personages, or a combination.
- Magic realism, a form particularly popular in Latin American but not limited to that region, in which events are described realistically, but in a magical haze of strange local customs and beliefs. Gabriel García Márquez is a notable author in the style.
- Narrative, fiction written as if it were related to the reader by a single participant or observer.
- Omniscient narrator, particular form of narrative in which the narrator sees and knows all
- Parody, ridicule by imitation, usually humorous, such as MAD Magazine
- Pastiche, using forms and styles of another author, generally as an affectionate tribute, such as the many stories featuring Sherlock Holmes not written by Arthur Conan Doyle.
- Picaresque novel, episodic recounting of the adventures of a rogue (Spanish picaro) on the road, such as Tom Jones or Huckleberry Finn.
- Roman a clef, a "novel with a key", that is, whose characters and plot are related to real-life happenings
- Satire, "An attack on wickedness and folly", as Samuel Johnson called it, such as 1984 or Brave New World. Not necessarily humorous.
- Stream of consciousness, an attempt to portray all the thoughts and feelings of a character, as in parts of James Joyce and Virginia Woolf.
- Word play, in which the nature of the words used themselves become part of the work
Reverse chronology and literature
Has cinematic time influenced literature?: The Time's Arrow case study
Slowed down time and literature
Colin Wilson aptly observes in the Misfits how John Cleland in Fanny Hill had succeeded to slow down time by which he meant that "the time it takes to read [some scenes] is obviously a great deal longer than the time it took to do." He goes on to describe how Richardson had done the same in Pamela and Clarissa, assuming that"Pamela and Clarissa became so real to the reader's imagination that we want to linger. A century and a half later, Marcel Proust will carry the same assumption to extraordinary lengths, virtually persuading the reader to abandon his normal sense of time. No writer before the time of Richardson would have dreamed of attempting such a feat: Cervantes, Lesage, Defoe, all relied on a profusion of incident to hold the reader's interest. --page 84.
Richardson and Cleland had the excuse that their era was pre-cinema, Proust wrote his most time-oriented work in In Search of Lost Time (1913 -1927) when cinema was already happening, but not during the sound film era. Is this kind of writing, which slows down time, still done? And how has cinematic time influenced time in literature?
See also: Pamela - Clarissa - Fanny Hill - literary technique - Colin Wilson - time
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