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CLEP Common Literary Forms And Genres

Subjects : clep, literature
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1. Fiction that concerns the nature of fiction itself - either by reinterpreting a previous fictional work or by drawing attention to its own fictional status.

2. A play such as Shakespeare's A Winter's Tale that mixes elements of tragedy and comedy.

3. 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.

4. A particularly compressed and truncated short story. They are rarely longer than 1 -000 words.

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

6. 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.

7. The brief narration of a single event or incident.

8. A play written in the fifteenth or sixteenth centuries that presents an allegory of the Christian struggle for salvation.

9. A narrative work that reports true events.

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

11. 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

12. Any composition not written in verse.

13. 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.

14. 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.

15. 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.

16. A short play based on a biblical story.

17. 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

18. 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.

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

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

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

22. The nonfictional story of a person's life - told by that person.

23. 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.

24. A novel that focuses on the social customs of a certain class of people - often with a sharp eye for irony. Jane Austen's novels are prime examples of this genre.

25. 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

26. The nonfictional story of a person's life. James Boswell's Life of Johnson is one of the most celebrated examples.

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

28. 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.

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

30. A genre of fiction that presents an imagined future society that purports to be perfect and utopian but that the author presents to the reader as horrifyingly inhuman.

31. A serious lyric poem - often of significant length - that usually conforms to an elaborate metrical structure.

32. 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

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

34. 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.

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

36. 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

37. A poetic work that features the strong rhythms of free versebut is presented on the page in the form of prose - without line breaks.

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

39. A short narrative that illustrates a moral by means of allegory.

40. Fiction that is set in an alternative reality

41. A concise expression of insight or wisdom: 'The vanity of others offends our taste only when it offends our vanity' (Friedrich Nietzsche - Beyond Good and Evil).

42. A celebration of the simple - rustic life of shepherds and shepherdesses - usually written by a sophisticated - urban writer.

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

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

45. A serious play that ends unhappily for the protagonist.

46. 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.

47. 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.

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

49. A story about the origins of a culture's beliefs and practices - or of supernatural phenomena - usually derived from oral tradition and set in an imagined supernatural past.

50. 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.