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CLEP Common Literary Forms And Genres

Subjects : clep, literature
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1. A work of prose fiction that is much shorter than a novel (rarely more than forty pages) and focused more tightly on a single event.

2. A form of high-energy comedy that plays on confusions and deceptions between characters and features a convoluted and fast-paced plot.

3. Originally - a realistic novel detailing a scoundrel's exploits. The term grew to refer more generally to any novel with a loosely structured - episodic plot that revolves around the adventures of a central character.

4. A novel - such as Jean-Paul Sartre's Nausea - that the author uses as a platform for discussing ideas. Character and plot are of secondary importance.

5. A play consisting of a single act - without intermission and running usually less than an hour.

6. A German term - meaning 'formation novel -' for a novel about a child or adolescent's development into maturity - with special focus on the protagonist's quest for identity. James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a notable example.

7. A play that confronts a contemporary social problem with the intent of changing public opinion on the matter.

8. A novel written in the form of letters exchanged by characters in the story - such as Samuel Richardson's Clarissa or Alice Walker's The Color Purple. This form was especially popular in the 1700s.

9. Fiction that concerns the nature of fiction itself - either by reinterpreting a previous fictional work or by drawing attention to its own fictional status.

10. A play from the Middle Ages featuring saints or miraculous appearances by the Virgin Mary.

11. A narrative in which literal meaning corresponds clearly and directly to symbolic meaning. For example - the literal story in John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress

12. A short poetic expression of grief. It differs from an elegy in that it often is embedded within a larger work - is less highly structured - and is meant to be sung.

13. A poem that contains words that a fictional or historical character speaks to a particular audience. Alfred - Lord Tennyson's 'Ulysses' is a famous example.

14. A story about a heroic figure derived from oral tradition and based partly on fact and partly on fiction.

15. Literature intended to instruct or educate. For example - Virgil's Georgics contains farming advice in verse form.

16. A short pastoral poem in the form of a dialogue between two shepherds. Virgil's Eclogues is the most famous example of this genre.

17. Any composition not written in verse.

18. A fictional prose narrative of significant length.

19. A formal poem that laments the death of a friend or public figure - or - occasionally - a meditation on death itself. In Greek and Latin poetry - the term applies to a specific type of meter (alternating hexameters and pentameters) regardless of cont

20. A ritualized form of Japanese drama that evolved in the 1300s involving masks and slow - stylized movement.

21. An autobiographical work. Rather than focus exclusively on the author's life - it pays significant attention to the author's involvement in historical events and the characterization of individuals other than the author.

22. A work that exposes to ridicule the shortcomings of individuals - institutions - or society - often to make a political point. Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels is one of the most well known examples in English.

23. A form of nonfictional discussion or argument that Michel de Montaigne pioneered in the 1500s.

24. An autobiographical poetic genre in which the poet discusses intensely personal subject matter with unusual frankness.

25. A fiction genre - popularized in the 1940s - with a cynical - disillusioned - loner protagonist.

26. A composition that is meant to be performed. The term often is used interchangeably with play.

27. A full-length fictional work that is novelistic in nature but written in verse rather than prose. Examples include Aleksandr Pushkin's Eugene Onegin and Vikram Seth's The Golden Gate.

28. Fiction that is set in an alternative reality

29. A nonrealistic story - in verse or prose - that features idealized characters - improbable adventures - and exotic settings.

30. A humorous imitation of a serious work of literature. The humor often arises from the incongruity between the imitation and the work being imitated. For example - Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock uses the high diction of epic poetry to talk abou

31. A novel set in an earlier historical period that features a plot shaped by the historical circumstances of that period.

32. A short prose or verse narrative - such as those by Aesop - that illustrates a moral - which often is stated explicitly at the end.

33. Works that express a preference for the natural over the artificial in human culture - and a belief that the life of primitive cultures is preferable to modern lifestyles.

34. Bertolt Brecht's Marxist approach to theater - which rejects emotional and psychological engagement in favor of critical detachment.

35. Disturbing or absurd material presented in a humorous manner - usually with the intention to confront uncomfortable truths. Joseph Heller's Catch-22 is a notable example.

36. A succinct - witty statement - often in verse. For example - William Wordsworth's observation 'The child is the father of the man.'

37. A novel in which the author's aim is to tell a story that illuminates and draws attention to contemporary social problems with the goal of inciting change for the better. Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin - which exposed the horrors of Africa

38. A lengthy narrative that describes the deeds of a heroic figure - often of national or cultural importance - in elevated language. Strictly - the term applies only to verse narratives like Beowulf or Virgil's Aeneid - but it is used to describe prose

39. A work that imitates the style of a previous author - work - or literary genre. Alternatively - the term may refer to a work that contains a hodgepodge of elements or fragments from different sources or influences. It differs from parody in that its

40. A romance that describes the adventures of medieval knights and celebrates their strict code of honor - loyalty - and respectful devotion to women.

41. Traditionally - a folk song telling a story or legend in simple language - often with a refrain.

42. A story meant to be performed in a theater before an audience. Most are written in dialogue form and are divided into several acts. Many include stage directions and instructions for sets and costumes.

43. An invented narrative - as opposed to one that reports true events.

44. A lighthearted play characterized by humor and a happy ending.

45. A short play based on a biblical story.

46. A novel that tells a nonfictional - autobiographical story but uses novelistic techniques - such as fictionalized dialogue or anecdotes - to add color - immediacy - or thematic unity.

47. A short poetic composition that describes the thoughts of a single speaker.

48. A work of fiction of middle length - often divided into a few short chapters - such as Henry James's Daisy Miller.

49. A work of didactic literature that aims to influence the reader on a specific social or political issue.

50. A speech - often in verse - by a lone character. The most famous example being the 'To be or not to be' speech in Shakespeare's Hamlet.