English Literature Dictionary

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narration: The process of telling a sequence of actions and events, usually in chronological order.

narrative:  A story or account. In dramas the narrative generally advances through the action of the play.

narrator: The "voice" that speaks or tells a story. Some narratives are written in a first-person point of view, where the narrator's voice is that of the protagonist’s, and some are written in third person.

narrator, unreliable: Usually in a novel, it refers to a narrator who lacks credibility. This usually occurs in order to deceive the reader. Both a first person and a third person narrator can be unreliable.

native language: The language acquired in childhood. One's mother tongue.

near rhyme: See inexact rhyme.

Nebula award: An award given for Science Fiction and fantasy writers in America.

neoclassicism: A revival in classical styles of literature, drama, art, music and architecture.

neo-Latin: Latin popularly used in the Renaissance and often used in scientific writing.

neologism: Introduction or creation of a new word or phrase.

Nobel Prize for Literature: Awarded every year since 190I, this accolade is a valuable prize to the winning writer. Former winners include Yeats (1923), Faulkner (1949), Hemingway (1954), Steinbeck (1962), Beckett (1969), Soyinka (1986), Walcott (1992), Morrison (1993). For complete list see http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/

noble savage: A primative used in literature to illustrate the simplicity found in being removed from civilisation.

nom de guerre: An assumed name or pseudonym.

nom de plume: A pen name or pseudonym.

noun: A group of words, found in speech/writing, that refer to a person, place, idea or object.  Nouns are classified as common, proper, abstract or collective.

novel: Generally speaking a novel is any extended fictional prose narrative that focuses on a few crucial characters but often involves scores of secondary characters. The novel can cover any subject from any view point. Within English there are a few contenders for the first 'true novel':  Bunyan's Pilgrims's progress, Defoe's Robinson Crusoe or Moll Flanders. After the birth of the novel in the 18th century, the 19th century saw a rise in the production of the novel, with the advent of novelists such as Austen and the Bronte sisters.

novel of manners: A novel which examines values, behaviour and characteristics of a particular group of people with a specific historical context.

novelette: See novella.

novelist: Someone who has written or writes novels. See writer, poet and author.

novella: An extended fictional prose narrative that is not quite as long as a novel, but longer than a short story. A novelette is a similar type of writing, but often refers to trivial romances.

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When I read great literature, great drama, speeches, or sermons, I feel that the human mind has not achieved anything greater than the ability to share feelings and thoughts through language.
James Earl Jones

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