Vignette (literature)

A vignette (/vɪnˈjɛt/ (listen), also /vnˈ-/) is a French loanword expressing a short and descriptive piece of writing that captures a brief period in time.[1][2] Vignettes are more focused on vivid imagery and meaning rather than plot.[3] Vignettes can be stand-alone, but they are more commonly part of a larger narrative, such as vignettes found in novels or collections of short stories.[2]

Vignette (literature)
FormatsProse
AuthorsErnest Hemingway, Margaret Atwood, Sandra Cisneros, Alice Walker, Charles Dickens, William Makepeace Thackeray, William S. Burroughs, Tim O'Brien (author)
Related genres
Sketch story, Short Story, Flash Fiction, Drabble, Slice of Life
Related topics
Literature, Novel, Poetry

Examples of vignettes include Ernest Hemingway’s In Our Time, Margaret Atwood’s The Female Body, Sandra Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street, and Alice Walker’s The Flowers.

Vignettes have been particularly influential in the development of the contemporary notions of a scene as shown in postmodern theater, film and television, where less emphasis is placed on adhering to the conventions of traditional structure and story development.[4]


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