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The Critical Idiom Reissued


About the Series

This set of 37 volumes is a revival of the original Critical Idiom series. First published between 1969 and 1979, the volumes in this series provide concise and accessible introductions to a range of critical terms which are key to the study of literature. This set will be a valuable resource for students working with complex literary terminology.

38 Series Titles

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Plot

Plot

1st Edition

Elizabeth Dipple
May 10, 2019

First published in 1970, this work examines ‘Plot’ as a literary term. It traces the two and contrary ways of considering the word: the Aristotelian and the neo-classic interpretations. It then goes on to examine the methods by which the idea of plot has been expanded in modern criticism through a...

The Epic

The Epic

1st Edition

Paul Merchant
January 29, 2019

First published in 1971, this work examines the tradition of the epic and the many forms in which it has presented itself over time. After unpicking the defining aspects of an epic, the book tracks the literary tradition from the classical period through to modern day. Exploring major texts such...

Comedy

Comedy

1st Edition

Moelwyn Merchant
January 29, 2019

First published in 1972, this work pursues the question ‘what is comedy?’ In its quest for an answer it explores critical theory, psychology, sociology and metaphysics. It also examines the classical origins of comedy, different kinds of comedy, the rituals of comedy, its relationship with other...

Satire

Satire

1st Edition

Arthur Pollard
January 22, 2019

First published in 1970, this work explores the literary genre of satire. After identifying the definitive aspects of satire, it goes on to examine the subjects which can be susceptible to satire, the modes and means of satire, the tone of satire and the satirist’s relationship with the reader. In...

Symbolism

Symbolism

1st Edition

Charles Chadwick
January 22, 2019

First published in 1971, this work provides a helpful introduction to the French Symbolism movement. After an introduction to the defining ideas of the movement, it explores five key Symbolist writers: Baudelaire, Verlaine, Rimbaud, Mallarmé and Valéry. The book concludes with a discussion of the...

Allegory

Allegory

1st Edition

John MacQueen
January 22, 2019

First published in 1970, this book examines the use of allegory in religious, philosophical and literary texts. It traces the development of the device over time from the Classical period through to the early modern and modern periods, demonstrating its evolution from the transmission of myths and...

Expressionism

Expressionism

1st Edition

R. S. Furness
January 22, 2019

First published in 1973, this book provides a helpful introduction to expressionism in literature. After providing a helpful introduction to the origins and defining characteristics of expressionism, the book traces the movement in Germany from 1900 through to the 1920s and its dissemination across...

Modern Verse Drama

Modern Verse Drama

1st Edition

Arnold P. Hinchliffe
January 22, 2019

First published in 1977, this book provides a clear and well-illustrated analysis of modern verse drama. It studies the work of its chief exponents, T. S. Eliot and Christopher Fry, as well as the genre’s place in the development of modern theatre. It particular focuses on the effect that verse...

Melodrama

Melodrama

1st Edition

James L. Smith
January 21, 2019

First published in 1973, this book explores the genre of melodrama. After discussing the defining characteristics of melodrama, the book examines the dramatic structures of the two major and contrasting emotions presented in melodrama: triumph and defeat. It concludes with a reflection on the ways...

Myth

Myth

1st Edition

K. K. Ruthven
January 21, 2019

First published in 1976, this book provides a helpful introduction to the study of myth as a concept and its relationship to literature. It examines historically some of the leading theories concerning the nature and origins of myth and, with reference to a wide variety of texts, illustrates the...

Primitivism

Primitivism

1st Edition

Michael Bell
January 17, 2019

First published in 1972, this books examines the subject of primitivism through the study of the work of a number of major writers, including D. H. Lawrence, Herman Melville, Joseph Conrad, T. S. Eliot and James Joyce. It looks at the variety of definitions and uses of primitivism and how the idea...

The Ballad

The Ballad

1st Edition

Alan Bold
January 17, 2019

First published in 1979, this work presents the history of the ballad, including its origin, style, content and preservation. It explores how ballads have adapted and changed over time, particularly with the rise of mass literacy and printing and the decline in the oral tradition, and in doing so,...

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