Anthology

In the realm of book publishing, an anthology can be considered a collection of literary works chosen by a compiler. This may be a collection of poems, short stories, songs, plays, or excerpts by different authors. When it comes to genre fiction, the term anthology typically categorizes collections of shorter works, such as short stories and short novels, by different authors, each featuring unrelated casts of characters and settings, and usually collected into a single volume for publication. Alternatively, it can also be a collection of selected writings such as short stories, poems, etc. by one author. Complete collections of works are called complete works of the author or ‘opera omnia’. In the case of traditions in East Asia, an anthology was a recognized form of a compilation of a particular poetic form and it was assumed that there was a cyclic development. First, there was any specific form, such as the tanka in Japan, which would be introduced at a certain point in history. This would then be explored by masters during a subsequent time, and then be subject to popularisation as well as a certain set of dilution when it achieved widespread recognition. In this model, which is derived from Chinese tradition, the objective behind compiling an anthology was to preserve the best of a form and cull the rest.

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