Term of Art: Analogue

“Analogue: A word or thing similar or parallel to another. As a literary term it denotes a story for which one can find parallel examples in other languages and literatures. A well-known example is Chaucer’s The Pardoner’s Tale, whose basic plot and theme were widely distributed in Europe in the Middle Ages. The tale is probably of oriental origin and a primitive version exists in a 3rd century Buddhist text known as the Jatakas; but the version usually taken to be the closest analogue to Chaucer’s tale is in the Italian Libro di Novelle e di Bel Parlar Gentile (1572) which is nearly two hundred years later than Chaucer’s story.”

Excerpted from: Cuddon, J.A. The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory. New York: Penguin, 1992.

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