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Glossary 1-2-3-4-5

English Vocabulary

A story, play, poem, picture, etc., in which the meaning or message is represented symbolically. ALLEGORY
Must die in order for the reader to be born. AUTHOR
Poststructuralist criticism challenges the category of the ‘author’ as omniscient or the single source of power in relation to a text, as an authority; meaning is not limited to, fixed by or located in the person of the author. AUTHOR
The solely responsible for the meaning of the literary work. AUTHOR
The term which ordinary culture uses when referring to the person who produces a literary work. AUTHOR
“The principle of contrast between two mutually exclusive terms: on/off, up/down, left/right” (Baldick). Post-structuralists also argue that each term of the binary is dependent on the other in order to constitute itself. BINARY OPPOSITION
A system that emphasizes private initiative and individual effort and enterprise. CAPITALISM
the resistance to using information derived from the writer’s life or known intentions as part of the process of interpretation since this presumes that the author imposes the final limit on meaning and attributes to him (or her) a godlike status. DEATH OF THE AUTHOR
The author must die in order for the reader to be born. DEATH OF THE AUTHOR
A way of reading that aims to uncover the disunity within the text. DECONSTRUCTION
A way of reading that notices what the writer “commands and what he does not command of the … language that he uses”. DECONSTRUCTION
Reading and interpretation reproducing what the writer thought and expressed in the text (J.Derrida). DOUBLING COMMENTARY / DOUBLING THE TEXT
Refers to the nature of western thought, language and culture since Plato’s era. The Greek signifier for ‘word’, ‘speech’ and ‘reason’, logos possesses connotations in western culture for law and truth. Hence, logocentrism refers to a culture that revolve LOGOCENTRISM
Differs from the Author in that he is not held to be responsible for a book in the same way. MODERN SCRIPTOR
Has no authority over what he writes. MODERN SCRIPTOR
Is born simultaneously with the text. MODERN SCRIPTOR
Reads and interprets literature through its author. ORDINARY CULTURE
Depends on the association of truth with the logos as the philosophical and theological origin of truth understood as self-revealing thought or cosmic reason... PHONOCENTRISM
A critical practice that look for shifts and breaks in the text and see these as evidence of what is passed over in silence by the text. POSTSRUCTURALISM
A critical practice that looks for hidden meanings in a text which may contradict its surface or apparent meaning. POSTSRUCTURALISM:
A critical practice that foreground superficial similarities in words and make them central to the text´s meaning. POSTSTRUCTURALISM
A critical practice that reads the text against itself. POSTSTRUCTURALISM
Must eliminate the Author in order to liberate meaning through the act of reading. READER
the reader and the act of reading are necessary for a text to constitute itself. READER
A term which is more or less interchangeable with  signified and refers to the concept to which the  signifier is related. REFERENT
The conceptual referent of the sign (meaning). SIGNIFIED
The materially identifiable element such as a sound or visible mark (word). SIGNIFIER
Denotes an ultimate, fixed meaning. TRANSCENDENTAL SIGNIFIED
A play or literary composition written chiefly to amuse its audience by appealing to a sense of superiority over the characters depicted with a (usually) happy ending for the leading characters. COMEDY
A critical practice that concentrates on the interventions whereby men and women make heir own history and situate the literary text in the political situation of our own (and now of its own day as New Historicists do). CULTURAL MATERIALISM
A critical practice that reads the literary text in a way as to enable us to “recover histories”. CULTURAL MATERIALISM
A critical practice that uses the technique of close textual analysis but often employ structuralist and post-structuralist techniques. CULTURAL MATERIALISM
A critical practice that works mainly within traditional notions of the canon. CULTURAL MATERIALISM
The process by which a text is organized into a plot. EMPLOTMENT
Organized into a plot. EMPLOTTED
A long narrative poem celebrating the great deeds of one or more legendary heros in a grand ceremonious style. EPIC
A combined interest in “the textuality of history, the historicity of texts”  (L.Montrose) EQUAL WEIGHTING
The historian bestows a particular significance upon certain historical events and then matches them up with a precise type of plot. FICTION-MAKING
Old historicism, dominant historical scholarship, monological, earlier historicism, single political vision, internally coherent and consistent, the status of historical fact, a stable point of reference. MAINSTREAM LITERARY HISTORY
A set of events (The story) recounted in a process of narration (or discourse). NARRATIVE
A telling of some true or fictitious event or connected sequence of events, recounted by a narrator. NARRATIVE
A critical practice that gives equal weighting to literary and non-literary texts. NEW HISTORICISM
A critical practice that insists on the textualization of reality (from Derrida) and the premise that society is governed by the collusion between discourse and power (from Foucault). NEW HISTORICISM
A critical practice that places literary and non-literary texts in conjunction and interprets the former through the latter. NEW HISTORICISM
A critical practice which looks for manifestations in text and co-text of State power, patriarchy and colonization. NEW HISTORICISM
A particular selection and reordering of the full sequence of events (story). PLOT
The pattern of events and situations in a narrative or dramatic work. PLOT
A fictional story in verse or prose that relates improbable adventures of idealized characters in some remote or enchanted setting. ROMANCE
A tendency in fiction opposite to that of realism. ROMANCE
A mode of writing that exposes the failings of individuals, institutions, or societies to ridicule and scorn. SATIRE
The full sequence of events as we assume them to have occurred in their likely order, duration and frequency. STORY
In modern narratology, the sequence of imagined events that we reconstruct from the actual arrangement of a narrative. STORY
In the everyday sense, any narrative or tale recounting a series of events. STORY
Adapting the facts to a particular story form. TAILORING
A serious play or novel representing the disastrous downfall of a central character, the protagonist. TRAGEDY
Historical events acquire narrative value only after the historian organizes them into a specific plot type. VALUE-NEUTRAL
A construct which is made of words and based on invention rather than reality.Hayden White The Historical Text as Literary Artifact VERBAL FICTIONS
A reference to another work of literature or art, to a person or an event. ALLUSION
The woman author’s fear that she is unable to create or that writing will destroy her. ANXIETY OF AUTHORSHIP
The male author s fear that he is not his own creator and that previous male authors have priority over his writings. ANXIETY OF INFLUENCE
The struggle for identity by male poets who feel threatened by the achievements of their predecessors. ANXIETY OF INFLUENCE
Books written by men (Elaine Showalter). ANDROTEXTS
Books written by women (E. Showalter). GYNOTEXTS
Literally, woman-centred. In critical practice, it refers to the presumption that the reader and the writer of a literary work are both female, and that the critical act is also aimed towards the woman reader GYNOCENTRISM
The term for women’s writing in French feminist theory. It describes how women’s writing is a specific discourse closer to the body, to emotions and to the unnameable, all of which are repressed by the social contract. ÉCRITURE FÉMININE
A matter of biology (T. Moi) FEMALE
A set of cultural defined characteristics (T. Moi) FEMININE
A critical practice that asks whether men and women are essentially (because biologically) different, or whether difference is one more social construct. FEMINIST CRITICISM
A critical practice that challenges hierarchies (power rations) in writing and in real life with a view to breaking them down, seeing reading as a political act and exposing patriarchy. FEMINIST CRITICISM
A critical practice that examines representations of women literature by men  and women. FEMINIST CRITICISM
A critical practice that explores the question of whether there is a female language or écriture féminine (a feminine practice of writing) and whether men can practice that writing too. FEMINIST CRITICISM
A critical practice that goes back to psychoanalysis to continue exploring male and female identity. FEMINIST CRITICISM
A critical practice that questions constructions of women as “Other”, as “lack”,as part of “nature”. FEMINIST CRITICISM
A critical practice that re-asses women´s lives (revalue women experience). FEMINIST CRITICISM
A critical practice that re-writes the canon and seek to rediscover women-authored texts (rethinks the canon for the rediscovering of texts written by women). FEMINIST CRITICISM
A political position (Toril Moi). FEMINIST
Literally, criticism of women. The term was coined in English by Elaine Showalter to describe a literary-critical presumption that feminist criticism would focus its attention on the works of women writers GYNOCRITICS
It refers to the ways in which all utterances (whether written or spoken) necessarily refer to other utterances, since words and linguistic/grammatical structures pre-exist the individual speaker and the individual speech. Intertextuality INTERTEXTUALITY
Convers the use of language to represent objects, actions, feelings, thoughts, ideas, states of mind and any sensory or extra-sensory experience. An image does not necessarily mean a mental picture. IMAGERY
Stern advice uttered by a male monarch KINGLY ADMONITIONS
Male equivalent or complement. MALE COUNTERPART
(feminist criticism) The male author must “kill his father” in order to survive and become his own person. OEDIPAL STRUGGLE
Model, example. PARADIGM
A system of male authority which oppresses women through its social, political, and economical institutions. PATRIARCHAL
(plural pf persona) Has come to denote the person (the “I” of an alter ego) who speaks in a poem or novel or other form of literature. PERSONAE
Characterized not by logical order but by displacement, slippage and condensation which suggest a much loser and randomized way of making connections (J. Kristeva). SEMIOTIC (LANGUAGE)
Standardized, simplified and fixed conception (according to Gubert and Gilbert,  female writer is reduced to stereotypes by her male precursor). STEREOTYPES
Associated with authority, order, fathers, repression and control; maintains  the fiction that the self is fixed and unified (Julia Kristeva). SYMBOLIC (LANGUAGE)
The evocation of one sense in terms of another.S. M. Gilbert and S. Gubar The Madwoman in the Attic. The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination “Infection in the Sentence: The Woman Writer and the Anxiety if  Authorship” SYNESTHESIA
Black women´s existence, experience and culture and the brutally complex systems of oppression which shape these (B.Smith). (BLACK-WOMAN) INVISIBILITY
Learned magazines which publish scholarly articles. ACADEMIC JOURNALS
A term which refers to the systematic stereotyping of and discrimination against people because they are old. AGEISM
Art which focuses on, is inspired by and gives the perspective of Black women. BLACK-WOMAN IDENTIFIED ART
A term in radical and lesbian theory for the enforcement of  heterosexuality. It includes the ideological and political control of women’s sexuality COMPULSORY HETEROSEXUALITY
The main mechanism underlying and perpetuating male dominance (Adrienne Rich). COMPULSORY HETEROSEXUALITY
Weakens, removes power from (in this case, women). DISEMPOWER
(adj.) Causes extreme indignation, irritation, annoyance. GALLING
The study of gender as an analytical reference. GENDER STUDIES
Denotes the cultural constitution of femininity or masculinity, the notions concerning what is  ‘appropriate’ to either gender, and the ways in which these serve ideologically to maintain gendered identities. GENDER
The belief that heterosexuality is the only “normal  mode of sexual and social relations. HETEROCENTRITY
The practice of viewing reality (or human relations) from a heterosexual perspective. HETEROCENTRITY
Term that avoid the clinical ring of lesbianism asn refers to all experiences shared by women, experiences that strengthen bonds among themselves and against male oppression. LESBIAN CONTINUUM
Term that avoid the clinical ring of lesbianism and refers to the actual presence of lesbians, past and present LESBIAN EXISTENCE
A critical practice in which the defining feature is making sexual orientation a fundamental category of analysis and understanding. LESBIAN/GAY CRITICISM
A critical practice that creates an alternative canon of lesbian/gay writer´s works. LESBIAN/GAY CRITICISM
A critical practice that equates the sense of being lesbian or gay with the metaphorical transgression of boundaries or limits of the “normal”. LESBIAN/GAY CRITICISM
A critical practice that exposes homosexual characteristics of standard literary works. LESBIAN/GAY CRITICISM
A critical practice that focuses on literary genres which have strongly shaped western standards of masculinity or femininity. LESBIAN/GAY CRITICISM
A critical practice that reveals the homophobia of standard literature and criticism which suppress certain explicitly homosexual material or simply fail to study it. LESBIAN/GAY CRITICISM
A critical practice that selects lesbian/gay passages in standard literary works and analyze them as such. LESBIAN/GAY CRITICISM
The moral and legal privilege to intervene in all aspects of a woman´s life. MALE RIGHT OF ACCESS
(v. numb) To remove all sensations from; to paralyze, stupefy. NUMBING
Ignorant of, blind or insensitive towards. OBLIVIOUS
OApparent seeming, not real feminists (Barbara Smith). OSTENSIBLE FEMINISTS
(v. overwhelm) To overpower with emotion, bury or drown beneath a huge mass, submerge utterly. OVERWHELMING
A critical practice that rejects female separatism and istead sees an identity of political and social interests with gay men. T he term is intended to mark a critical distance from the earlier and marginalized ‘gay and le QUEER THEORY (OR QUEER STUDIES)
The political character of race which is based on the unequal power of white-black relations. RACIAL POLITICS
The political character of sexuality which is based on the unequal power of sexual relations. SEXUAL POLITICS
To feel an identification with women (as opposed to men).Adrienne Rich Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence WOMAN IDENTIFICATION
Contrast or opposition between two things. ANTITHESIS
The direct opposite. ANTITHESIS
The direct political control of one country or society by another and refers first of all to historical episodes, like the long history of British rule in India. COLONIALISM
Someone who takes part in a dispute or challenge. CONTESTANT
“Historically, the Orient has challenged or rivaled the West in cultural terms” (E.Said). CULTURAL CONTESTANT
An instance of language or utterance that involves the speaker/writer-subject and listener/reader-object. Foucault argued that discourse colludes with power. DISCOURSE
To confirm, to declare support or approval of. ENDORSE
A critical approach to literature which challenges the universality of white discourse and standards. ETHNIC STUDIES
A person or thing that enhances the qualities of another by contrast FOIL
Represents one of the West´s most deep-rooted and persistent images of the Other IMAGINARY ORIENT
Is a form of discourse supported by institutions, language, academic study, principles, bureaucracy and a certain way of doing things (style). MATERIAL ORIENT
An academic meaning through its doctrines and theses about the Orient and the Oriental (E. Said). ORIENTALISM
The corporate institution or Western Style for controlling and shaping the Orient (Said). ORIENTALISM
The distinction between the Orient and the Occident, East and West (E. Said). ORIENTALISM
The ensemble of western, usually though not exclusively European discourses and other forms of representation of non-western cultures (E. Said). ORIENTALISM
Term that names the quality or state of existence of being other or different from established norms and social groups. OTHER/OTHERNESS
The distinction that one makes between one’s self and others, particularly in terms of sexual, ethnic and relational senses of difference. OTHER/OTHERNESS
Centers on the conflicts and contradictions, as well as the advantages and sense of liberation, that accompany life as an individual in a postcolonial state. POST-COLONIAL LITERATURE
A critical practice which stresses and examines cultural difference and diversity in literature. POST-COLONIALISM
A critical practice that refutes the claim that mainstream Western literature is somehow universal and stress its limited perspective and blindness to cultural and ethnic specifities. POST-COLONIAL CRITICISM
A critical practice that examines the representation of other cultures in literature as a way of achieving this end. POST-COLONIAL CRITICISM
A critical practice that looks therefore at how other cultures are represented in literature. POST-COLONIAL CRITICISM
(n.) Substitute. SURROGATE
Overcome, defeat. TO GET THE BETTER OF
(adj. from v. to vaunt) To boast, to brag (synonyms: boastful, swaggering). VAUNTED
The desire and need of the West to use the African continent to emphasize its own state of grace. WESTERN DESIRE AND NEED
The desire in Western psychology to set Africa up as a foil to Europe. WESTERN DESIRE AND NEED
Created by: eneko
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