Thursday, September 13, 2007

Postliterates Unite!

David Ritchie who works in Seoul sent me a copy of a book produced by his company LinguaForum - Before You Take Lit 101: A Postliterates Guide to Literature, written by ... Mystery Writer. (I have a shrewd idea who that might be actually!)

I think it well worth giving a plug to because it is not only a useful illustrated guide to literary terminology, but also so nicely tongue-in-cheek. Aimed primarily at those who spent their formative years:
... playing video games while dickens and Hardy sat unread on the shelf ...
It's a fun read too for those of us who (at least think we) have the jargon at our fingertips, and it's the kind of book I'd love to make available for my students to dip into if I were still teaching literature.

Here some of the definitions:
Novel. A Novel is a fully inflated short story.

Plagiarism. This means stealing another author's work and passing it off as your own. i tis a violation of COPYRIGHT. There is a difference between plagiarism and HOMAGE. Authors who commit plagiarism get into trouble. Authors who practice homage do not.

Research. This means using a library or database to find information on a given topic before writing about it. in more practical terms, research means trying to find out who has done most of your work for you already. See PLAGIARISM.

Classic. This is a book that people still remember, and sometimes even go back and read again, five or 10 years after it is published. if you remember the characters' names after six months, then it is on it's way to becoming a classic.
Sadly one literary term I can never find words to explain simply and concisely ... that slippery creature Post-Modernism ... is not included.

If you think you can write a definition of the term funny and appropriate enough, please post it here!

Book enquiries Mr. Chun Junhyuk, LinguaForum,


Sufian said...

That cover pwns postmodernism.

bibliobibuli said...


Whitearrow said...

Post-Modernism: a vague and jealous dissing of Modernism in convoluted and unintelligable terms that cannot be defined.


bibliobibuli said...

haha that works for me, whitearrow! i always recognise it only after i've bumped my nose on it and say "now wasn't that ...?"

Anonymous said...

Wow, now that's a classic definition :) there are very few memorable characters these days, no Peter Pans, Tom Sawyers, Alices or Scrooges :P