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Saturday, October 02, 2021

Important Literary Terms and Their Inventors | Litgalaxy2019

As a student of English literature, it is important to get acquainted with the various important literary terms and their inventors and exponents in English literature. The terms have been coined by many renowned writers, critics, thinkers, philosophers, journalists, and scholars. 

Some of the literary terms and concepts appeared in the literary magazines and periodicals in English literature in response to the works of art produced by various literary artist.

This blog-post covers many literary terms from modern critical and theoretical literary schools and movements along with their  inventors or founders and their exponents which will be useful for every reader as well as students who derive knowledge and pleasure through English literature. 

Without studying these literary terms one fails to understand literature and derive pleasure. The blog-post imparts information of various literary terms taken from traditional drama, versification and rhetoric. The literary terms and their founders are arranged in alphabetical order so that the readers can find them easily which will save their time.          

Important Literary Terms and Their Inventors
Important Literary Terms and Their Inventors

Literary Terms and Their Founders and Exponents 

Theatre of absurd: by Martin Esslin in his work "The Theatre of the Absurd" in 1961 

Affective Fallacy: W.K. Wimsatt and Monroe C. Beardsley in their work Verbal Icon, in 1954 

Affective Stylistics: Stanley Fish in his essay “Literature in the Reader: Affective Stylistics” in 1970 

Ambiguity (Plurisignation): William Empson in “Seven Types of Ambiguity” in 1930 

Anxiety of Influence: Harold Bloom in “The Anxiety of Influence” in 1973 

American Renaissance: F.O. Matthiessen in his critical work “American Renaissance” in 1941 

Angry Young Men: Leslie Paul in his autobiographical account “Angry Young Man” in 1951 

Anti-masque (ante-masque): Ben Jonson 

The Great Awakening (1735-1750): Jonathan Edwards 

Aga saga: Terence Blacker in “Publishing News” in 1992 

Art for art’s sake: Victor Cousin 

'belatedness': Harold Bloom in ‘The Anxiety of Influence’ in 1973  

Black Mountain Poets: Donald Allen in "The New American Poetry"

Bathos: Alexander Pope in a mock critical treatise ‘The Art of Sinking in Poetry’ in 1727 

beat’ – Herbert Huncke 

'Beachcomber': Bevan Lewis in 1919 in the “Daily Express” 

Beat Generation: Jack Kerouac 

Bildungsroman: Johann Karl Simon Morgenstern   

The Blank Generation (Brat Pack) – used by American media for the novelists in 1980s 

Broad Church: Arthur Hugh Clough

Carnivalization- Mikhail Bakhtin in “Problem of Dostoevsky’s Poetics” in 1929 and “Rabelais and his World” in 1965 

Cockney School- John Lockhart in ‘Blackwood’s Magazine’ in 1817 for Leigh Hunt, Hazlitt, Keats, and Shelley 

Chora - Julia Kristeva 

Conservative – John Wilson Croker in the ‘Quarterly Review’ in 1830 

Contact zone – Mary Louise Pratt 

Cubism: Guillaumme Apollinaire in 1911

Cultural materialism – Raymond Williams 

Curtal sonnet: Gerard Manley Hopkins in ‘Preface to Poems’ in 1918 

Cyberspace (Virtual Space): William Gibson 

Decorum: Horace

Dadaism: Hugo Ball 

Différance: Jacques Derrida in “Of Grammatology” 

Deep structure and surface structure’ - Noam Chomsky 

Defamiliarization - Viktor Shklovsky in his essay ‘Art as Technique’ in 1917 

discours-histoire: Emile Benvineste in his essay ‘Problèmes de linguistic générale” in 1966 

Dissociation of sensibility: Thomas Stearns Eliot in ’The Metaphysical Poets’ (1921) 

Physical distance – Edward Bulloughs 

dub poetry : Linton Kwesi Johnson 

drab: Clive Staples Lewis in his work “English Literature in the 16th century” in 1954 

Death of Instinct – Sigmund Freud 

Dystopia: John Stuart Mill 

Ecocriticism - William Rueckert in 1978 

Egotistical sublime: John Keats in his letter to Richard Woodhouse on 27 October 1818 

Euphuism: John Lyly in ‘The Anatomy of Wit’ in 1578 

English Utilitarianism: John Biddle 

ethnoscapes: Arjun Appadurai 

‘elan vital’ (vital impulse) – Henri Bergson 

Fanzines – by Russ Chauvenet, a great fan of science fiction in 1941 

'the fantastic'- Tzvetan Todorov in his work “Introduction à la literature fantastique” in 1970 

ficelle {puppet strings} - Henry James 

foregrounding: Jan Mukařovský 

Four Ages of Poetry: Thomas Love Peacock (1820) - iron, gold, silver and brass 

flat and round character: E.M. Forster in his work “Aspects of the Novel” in 1927 

‘Folklore’: the term introduced by William J. Thoms in an article in the periodical “Athenaeum” in 1846 

Fleshly School of Poetry: by Robert Buchanan under a pseudonym Thomas Maitland in “TheContemporary Review” in 1846 

fabulation: by Robert Scholes in “The Fabulators” in 1967 

Fauvism: Louis Vauxcelles 

Futurism: Filippo Tommaso Marinetti         

‘generative grammar’: Noam Chomsky- Syntactic Structures 

‘gestus’: Bertolt Brecht 

golden:  C. S. Lewis 

grand narratives: Jean Francois Lyotard 

grundyism: (extreme moral rigidity) – Thomas Mortan 

gonzo journalism: Hunter S. Thompson 

Gothic: John Giorgio Vasari 

'the gilded age': Mark Twain and C.D. Warner


Hegemony – Antonio Gramsci 

high comedy - George Meredith- The Idea of Comedy 

horizon of expectations- Hans Robert Jauss - Literary History as a Challenge to Literary Theory 

Illocutionary act: J. L. Austin in How to Do Things with Words 

'implicature': H.P. Grice

implied author: Wayne C. Booth- The Rhetoric of Fiction (1961) 

implied reader: Wolfgang Iser: 'The Implied Reader' (1974) and 'The Act of Reading' 

imagined communities: Benedict Anderson  

'Id, ego, super-ego, libido': Sigmund Freud 

infrahistoria: Francis Gummere - The Popular Ballad 

Imagism: Hilda Doolittle and Ezra Pound 

Intentional fallacy: W. K. Wimsatt and Monroe C Beardsley in Verbal Icon 1954 

Intertexuality: Julia Kristeva in her two essays ‘The Bounded Text’ and ‘Word Dialogue and Novel’ in 1966 

Ideogramic method: Ezra Pound 

Ido: Louis Couturat 

Incremental repetition: Francis Gummere - The Popular Ballad 

Jabberwocky: Lewis Carroll 

'Jungle English’ (Dolichologia): A.P. Herbert 

Kailyard School: J.M. Miller

Lake Poets or Lakers: Francis Jeffrey in the ‘Edinburgh Review’ 

Langue and parole: Ferdinand de Saussure 

League of Nations: G.L. Dickinson 

leit motif: (leading motif): Hans Von Wolzugen 

lisible (readerly) and scriptible (writerly): Roland Barthes- S/Z (1970) 

literati: Robert Burton 

Lost Generation: Gertrude Stein: (for the writers during the First World War) 

magic realism: Franz Roh 

maker (poet): Sir Philip Sidney - Defence of Poetry 

Mac-sp-au-n-day: Roy Campbell in his “Talking Bronco” which denotes four great poets of the Auden Group namely, Louis MacNeice, Stephen Spender, Wystan Hugh Auden, and Cecil Day Lewis in 1946    

Malapropism: Richard Brinsley Sheridan - The Rivals 

Martian: James Fenton

Melting Pot: Israel Zangwill 

metaphysical: William Drummond 

metatheatre: Lionel Abel 

modernismo: Ruben Dario 

Martian: Craig Raine 

Marginalia: S T Coleridge 

Mirror stage: Jacques Lacan

Muckrakers: Theodore Roosevelt 

The Movement: J.D. Scott 

The morality of the slave: Friedrich Nietzsche 

narratee: Gerald Prince 

negative capability: John Keats in a Letter to George and Thomas Keats 

negritude: Aime Cesaire and L. S. Senghor 

nihilism: Turgenev in "Fathers and Sons" 

new woman:  Maria Louise Ramé {OUIDA}    

'newspeak': George Orwell 

New Negro: Alaine Locke 

'Objective Correlative': Thomas Stearns Eliot in his essay, ”Hamlet and his Problems” in 1919

'Orature': Ngugi wa Thiango

'organic form': S.T. Coleridge 

Oedipus complex: Sigmund Freud 

Orphism, or Orphic Cubism: Guillaumme Apollinaire in 1912


pathetic fallacy: John Ruskin- Modern Painters (1856)

philistine (middle class), barbarians (land-lords), and populace (lower class): Matthew Arnold in "Culture and Anarchy" (1869) 

poete maudit ( accursed poet): Paul Verlaine 

poetic justice: Thomas Rymer in "The Tragedies of the Last Age Considered" (1678) 

The Problem plays: Fredrick S. Boas in his work “Shakespeare and His Predecessors” in relation to Shakespearean problem plays 

Problem plays: Sydney Grundy used this term in relation to intellectual drama of the nineties in disparaging sense

Proletcult {Proletkult}: Alexander A. Bogdanov 

Purple patch: Horace in "Ars Poetica" 

Pandemonium: John Milton 

Panopticon: Jeremy Bentham 

Pantisocracy: S.T. Coleridge and Robert Southey 

Pragmatism: William James and Stanley Fish 

Provincializing Europe: Dipesh Chakravarty 

Pantheist: John Toland 

Pylon boys/ poets: Cyril Connolly 

'roman fleuve': river novel: Romain Rolland

Robotics: Isaac Asimov in a series of stories published in the journal "Astounding Science Fiction" in the 1940s 

Romantic: Schlegel 

Satanic School: Robert Southey in "A Vision of Judgement" (1821) 

Spasmodic School: Charles Kingsley 

Stream of consciousness: William James in "Principles of Psychology" (1890) 

Sublime: Longinus 

Super-structuralism: Richard Harland

Surfiction: Raymond Federman in "Surfiction: Fiction Now and Tomorrow" 

Surrealism: Guillaumme Apollinaire in 1917  

Super-realism: Guillaume Apollinaire 

Sweetness and Light: Matthew Arnold in his work "Culture and Anarchy" (1869). It has been derived from Jonathan Swift’s ‘Battle of the Books’ 1697 

Structure and Texture: John Crowe Ransom

Sturm and Drang (Storm and Stress): Friedrich M W Klinger 

Speculative fiction: Robert A. Heinlein

Synaesthesia (perceiving together): Jules Millet 

Subjective idealism: Johann G. Fichte 

‘She Tragedies’: Nicholas Rowe 

Superman: Friedrich Nietzsche 

Simulacrum: Jean Baudrillard 

'Survival of the fittest': Alfred Russell Wallace 

Tabula rasa: John Locke 

Tenor and vehicle: I.A. Richards

Touchstone: Matthew Arnold 

Tension: Alan Tate 

Ten-year-test: Cyril Connolly 

Theatre of Catastrophe: Howard Barker 

Theatre Laboratory: Jerzy Grotowsky 

Theatre Libre: Andre Leonard Antoine in 1887, Paris 

Theatre of Cruelty: Antonin Artaud 

Theatre of Oppressed: Augusto Boal 

Theatre of Panic: Fernando Arrabal 

Theatre of Silence: Theatre of the Unspoken: Jean Jacques Bernard 

Third Theatre: Odin Teatret: Eugenio Barba in 1964

Third culture: F.R. Lewis 

Third space: Edward Soja 

Total Theatre: Walter Gropius

Touchstone Method: Matthew Arnold in “The Study of Poetry” in 1880

Transposition: Sigmund Freud in relation to intertexuality

Tropism: Nathalie Sarraute 

Tumbling verse: James VI (Scotland) 

The uncanny: Sigmund Freud 

Utilitarianism: Jeremy Bentham 

University Wits: George Saintsbury 

Volapuk (artificial international language): J.M. Schleyer (1879) 

Verismo: Giovanni Verga 

Virtual reality: Damien Broderick in the ‘Judas Mandala’ 

Vorticism: a term coined by Ezra Pound

Well-made plays: Eugene Scribe 

Weltliterature (World literature): Johann Wolfgang Goethe 

WertherrismJohann Wolfgang Goethe 

Willing suspension of disbelief: Coleridge (Biographia Literaria XIV) 

Womanism: Alice Walker in her novel “Colour Purple’ 

Xanaduism: John Livingston Lowes

The information about the literary terms and their inventors will be useful for students while pursuing various competitive exams. Many readers will definitely get help and come to know about the coinage of these literary terms and concepts related to literature and criticism.

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