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To look up information on a given writer or critic, begin with the alphabetical name index (click "Authors and Schools directory" above, then "Name Index"). This index names the folder which contains that writer's list (works by the writer followed by criticism on the writer). E.g.: If we search the name index under "Wordsworth, William" we find the indication "See English authors." In this section (folder "Authors," sub-folder "English authors"), the authors' names are found in alphabetical order in the corresponding folders and files. Note that some of the main authors are listed in an independent file (e.g. "Wordsworth.W.doc"). Minor figures will be found listed alphabetically in the first file in the folder (e.g. William Strode, in the file "So-.English.authors." This rule applies everywhere in the bibliography: main topics, motifs, etc., get an independent file, while minor ones are to be found together in a single file (or a few general files) either at the top or at the bottom of the list.
It may be more difficult to locate the works of a
or theorist, since these are grouped by schools. Look first in the
index. If you do not know where to find a given school, look up in the
index (click "Subjects directory" above, then "Subject Index").
E.g.: Mayoux, Jean-Jacques. In the name index you will find: See French
phenomenological criticism. Look up "Phenomenological criticism"
(NOT "French") in the Subject index and you will find the following
index entry, in this case quite a long one:
Phenomenological criticism. See Authors, schools. Critics, schools. Philosophical criticism. Phenomenological.
Each of the full stops in this entry indicates a folder containing additional folders or files. "French phenomenological criticism" will be found after English phenomenological criticism in the folder "Phenomenological," which is inside the folder "Philosophical criticism" which is inside the folder "Critics, schools", which is inside the folder "Authors, schools" which is the first level. Painstaking, but clear enough, I hope.
Some puzzling abbreviations in file names: HC means humanist criticism; HS means historical scholarship; AC aesthetic criticism. (further abbreviations used in file titles or in file contents are listed in 'Abbreviations', the first file of the Subject index).
Major critics have got their own files, including their works and secondary literature; minor critics are grouped in the general file(s) of the folder. And (this may be confusing at first) secondary literature on these minor critics is to be found SEPARATELY in the final file of the relevant folder.
Use the Subject Index (click "Subjects Directory" above, then "Subject Index"). It lists many critical terms and schools, and also many additional subjects not strictly related to literature or literary theory (but what isn't?). Most of these non-literary topics are to be found in the Motifs folder under "Subjects" - "Other Subjects." Note that the entry in the Subject index gives you step-by-step instructions on the path you must take to reach the relevant subject, each of the steps or levels being indicated by a full stop and space. E.g., "Prosopopoeia" is followed in the index by the following instructions: "See Lit. Theory-Specific. Rhetoric and style. Tropes. Other tropes." This means that inside the Subject folder you should find a first-level folder named "Lit.Theory-Specific", which contains among other folders (alphabetical order is to be expected here) a folder named "Rhetoric and style", which in turn contains the folder "Tropes" where you will find files on "Metaphor", "Metonymy", etc., and a final file, "Other Tropes", where (once again alphabetically) you will find the list on "Prosopopoeia" among other minor tropes. Alphabetical order inside the folders is altered occasionally to an order of preeeminence: thus generalities may appear first, main subheadings later, and a file with miscellaneous or minor entries last. Note that most general items are not included in the specific lists: thus, if you want a complete bibliography on metaphor, note that the general works on rhetoric or tropes probably include sections on metaphor which are not usually listed in the more specific section bearing that name. A number of subject listings include an initial selection of "Top ten" references. These are usually a compromise between my own favourites and those which are more influential or well-known at large.
Occasionally, an entry in the Author or Subject index is followed by an italicised indication (e.g. Evans, Marian. See Eliot, George). This means that you have to search again the index following the new (italicised) indication. N.b. 2: Within the English-speaking area, "English" is used as the more general term and refers to the English language, not specifically to England. BUT in most sections of the Subjects folder the "English" section refers to English or mainstream British topics, and is followed by additional lists on "US", "African," "Australian," "Canadian," "Irish," "Scottish" etc. topics (in alphabetical order apart from nos. 1 and 2). I have tried to avoid the term "American" to refer to the USA, but apart from this there are not many deliberate concessions to political correctness. French literature takes precedence over Québecois literature, and that's that, no offence intended.
In general I follow MLA bibliographical conventions, except where I find them confusing. The MLA handbook will therefore provide a reliable guide to solve any ambiguities which may arise. I will explain here the main conventions applying in the notation of bibliographical entries.
Autor's name. (If applicable: anonymous works are listed by title, disregarding initial articles). The author's name is not italicised. I write the surname first (alphabetised in the list) followed by the given name. Note that different languages or traditions use different rules with composite surnames. For instance, in a Spanish name like my own, José Ángel García Landa, there is no "middle" name: there are two given names and two surnames, which means that it is alphabetized as follows: García Landa, José Ángel. I try to include full names whenever possible, without abbreviations, although many British and American scholars use initials in publications, especially in the field of linguistics. Successive works by the same author are listed in order of publication (or composition, in some instances). Entries with the same author as the previous one are headed "_____." I do repeat the author's name, though, in collaborative works. Editors are given the same treatment as authors; edited works are to be found at the bottom of the list of the author's works (there are some exceptions for major authors, whose files tend to be have a slightly more complex organisation). Abbreviation for "editor" is "ed." ( or "_____, ed." in a list).
Title. Different conventions apply to books, journals, and longer works on the one hand, and book chaptersl, articles, and shorter works on the other. Titles of books, journals or of longer works are italicised. Unitalicised comments between brackets after the author's name are NOT titles, but descriptions of a work which may carry a different title. Within other titles, such titles are written in small caps (not in plain text, as in the MLA; e.g. Serendipity in OTHELLO. On the other hand, titles of book chapters, articles and short stories or short poems are written between inverted commas. Such titles are written within single inverted commas when included within another such title, e. g. "Ekphrasis in Keats's 'Ode on a Grecian Urn'." Main words are italicised, except in some titles of older works which preserve original capitalizations. Titles between inverted commas are followed by the title of the volume (in italics); immediately in the case of journals; preceded the preposition "In" in the case of books. The date of original publication or the date of composition may appear immediately after the title. In the case of literary works, this date is often preceded by an unitalicised descriptor of genre (e.g.: The Real Life of Sebastian Knight. Novel. 1941). This descriptor is dropped in the case of subsequent editions, to avoid repetition. Note: "Forthcoming 1996" does not mean that the work was intended for publication in 1996, but that a 1996 source announced it as forthcoming.
The title may be followed by the names of the editors, in the case of an edited volume, or by the journal number. Volume number may be followed by a period and by an additional number (the issue, e.g. 25.3), then by a date which in the case of journals is written between brackets. No publisher is specified for journals; you may consult the list of academic journals in the "Genres" folder. Book titles are followed (after genre descriptor and original date, if applicable), by the name of the city of publication, a colon, a comma and the year of publication. I usually include only one city name (e.g. New York: Routledge, although Routledge publishes both in London and New York). Some publishers' addresses can be found in the "Publishers" file. The year of publication refers of course to that of the current publication, the original one, if it is different, may be found after the title. Sometimes there appears a parenthetical explanation of the contents after the year of publication. These explanations are not to be confused with another class of parenthetical items: after BOOK titles, the title of the series or collection to which the book belongs may appear between brackets, often with a series number, before the place, publisher and date. Nonetheless, I include many entries with some of these fields missing, because I think that partial information is better than none at all.
A typical individual author file may contain the following distribution of information: a general heading with a reference to this bibliography, an author's name and biographical dates, biographical data (affiliation, ideological affinities, social origin, work, etc.- e.g. Christopher Marlowe: Elizabethan poet and playwright, worked for the Admiral's Men, homosexual, atheist, spy, murdered in Deptford, etc.), list of works (sometimes divided into sub-lists in the case of a few major authors), and then secondary works on the author, which may include the following categories or sub-lists, in this order: biographies, criticism, bibliographies, CD-ROMs, Dictionaries, Documents, Films Internet resources, Journals (e.g. a Shakespeare Society newsletter) Literature (meaning creative literary works on the author or subject, e.g. a Burgess novel on Marlowe), Music (related to that author or topic), Related works. Entries on specific subjects, whether critical, historical, etc., will also include these categories of secondary material where applicable. Some subject files may contain, after the general title of the file, a small listing of sub-headings in the case the file contains several related listings. When the order of sub-headings is alphabetical, no listings are provided. The sub-categories within each listing follow much the same order as those in the author files. Finally, a "See also" subject list may include cross-references (no hypertextual links, sorry; maybe some other day) to those other listings in the bibliography which are most directly relevant to the subject in question.
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