Literary fragment

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Literary fragments may comprise:[1]

  • works inadvertently left unfinished or never completed by their authors
  • surviving extracts of larger works subsequently lost as wholes
  • works deliberately constructed as fragmentary pieces

The deliberately undeveloped literary sort of fragment played an especially important role in literary Romanticism. German literature of the Romantic period has left many such fragments. In English literature, note Coleridge's unfinished (but published as a fragment in 1816) "Kubla Khan; or, A Vision in a Dream: A Fragment". In contemporary literature Dimitris Lyacos employs fragment sequences in order to develop an elliptical narrative alluding to a universe of unattainability and loss.[2]


  1. ^ von Wilpert, Gero (1969) [1955]. Sachwörterbuch der Literatur, [Dictionary of Literary Concepts]. Kröners Taschenausgabe (in German). 231 (5 ed.). Stuttgart: Alfred Kröner. p. 268.
  2. ^ Fran Mason. Historical Dictionary of Postmodern Literature and Theatre. p. 276. Rowman and Littlefeld, 2016.