roman à clef

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Borrowed from French roman à clef (roman à clef”, literally “novel with a key).


  • IPA(key): /ɹoːˌmɑ̃aˈklej/


roman à clef (plural romans à clef)

  1. A piece of fiction, especially a novel, containing real-life people and/or events.
    • 2007, A. Zurcher, Seventeenth-Century English Romance: Allegory, Ethics, and Politics, Springer →ISBN, page 9
      I want to emphasize that in this respect my account of romance differs substantially from both Annabel Patterson's argument that the primary purpose of roman à clef in early modern England was to avoid censorship and Michael McKeon's []
    • 2009, Sean Latham, The Art of Scandal: Modernism, Libel Law, and the Roman à Clef, Oxford University Press →ISBN, page 57
      In the end, the fragmentary nature of the text and Dora's abrupt decision to terminate her treatment indicate that as a narrative technology, the roman à clef fails. This owes less to the particulars of the individual case, however, than to Freud's []
    • 2011, S. Nair, Secrecy and Sapphic Modernism: Writing Romans à Clef Between the Wars, Springer →ISBN, page 23
      However, I would argue that this feature of the roman à clef need not be characterized as an impediment to interpretation. If the layered address contained in novels that encrypt references to the 'real' is acknowledged as itself a characteristic []

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