"Knowledge of the basic literary terms, concepts and movements is essential for one who studies literature. Most of us, even the serious students of literature, are found to show an embarrassing lack of knowledge in this regard and approach a literary work without knowing the precise genre to which it belongs and its characteristics. So a Shelleyan ode in the end appears to such readers no different from a lyric or a ‘farce’ from ‘burlesque.’ Even the significant distinctions between ‘Imagism’ and ‘Symbolism’ get blurred without their knowing. The result is obviously an appalling degree of confusion, often leading to misunderstanding and wrong interpretations. Although a majority of readers affirm the importance of possessing such a knowledge, lack of good books dealing with its their major problem. Of course, standard literary companions and encyclopaedias are available, but they remain in the reference sections of libraries, inaccessible to general readers.
The present book has been prepared with a view to making available to general readers the major literary terms, concepts and movements for ready reference and help. Its scope puts constraints on the number and selection of items, but care has been taken to include all the basic items. Perhaps for the first time a book has been made available to readers that contains the major terms, concepts and movements within one cover." (jacket)