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(ăn`ĭkdōt'), brief narrative of a particular incident. An anecdote differs from a short storyshort story,
brief prose fiction. The term covers a wide variety of narratives—from stories in which the main focus is on the course of events to studies of character, from the "short short" story to extended and complex narratives such as Thomas Mann's Death in Venice.
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 in that it is unified in time and space, is uncomplicated, and deals with a single episode. The literal Greek meaning of the word is "not published," and it still retains some such sense of confidentiality. Sometimes an anecdote is inserted into a novel as an interval in the main plot, as in Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy. Famous books of anecdotes include the Deipnosophistae of Athenaeus and Plutarch's Lives.



a brief story about some insignificant but characteristic event drawn from the life of a historical personage. In modern word usage (from the middle of the 19th century) an anecdote also refers to a short, oral, humorous story with an unexpected and witty ending.

In the first sense of the term, “anecdote” was used in conjunction with the satirical Secret History by Procopius of Caesarea. Later the term “anecdote” began to be applied to minor narrative genres of a comic nature, often with a sharp political content. In West European literature, for instance, the fabliau and the facetiae developed especially during the Renaissance—for example, Poggio Bracciolini’s Facetiae. In Russia the anecdote first became widespread in the second half of the 18th century (the collections of N. Kurganov, P. Semenov, and others). The anecdote has become widespread in modern urban folklore.


Maslova, E. “K istorii anekdoticheskoi literatury XVIII v.” In Sbornik statei ν chest’ akademika A. 1. Sobolevskogo. (Sb. otd. rus. iaz. i slovesnosti AN SSSR, vol. 101, no. 3.) Leningrad, 1928.
References in periodicals archive ?
Musk made light of some other anecdotes he said were wrongly presented in the book.
your long suffering partner will be ready to tell an anecdote of her own.
A British newspaper, which had reported the anecdote, interpreted Pietersen's response as showing lack of loyalty towards England since he is born in South Africa.
In the first of these studies (Rooke and Malouff, 2006), individuals in the experimental condition received information about how to use expressive writing to reduce distress and received a written anecdote about a person who used the method and benefitted.
In a statement, a CEHR spokesman said: "Trevor gave a speech at a private event, during which he did tell an anecdote.
Since the media play positive anecdote against negative anecdote, often without citing the negative research data, exposes can actually serve as advertisements.
Krantz' second offering of anecdotes from the academic world.
However, these anecdotes are more about remembrances of a select group of people who are commercial musicians (Glenn Miller, Fred Waring, and others), jazz musicians (Lester Young, Roy Eldridge, and so on), managers, agents, and teachers; the places that they played, and the people with whom they interacted; and the many pranks, practical jokes, insults, put-ons, and numerous other devious activities in which they engaged.
Nor, you'll be pleased to hear, is this the only anecdote involving poets and dairy products.
The book starts promisingly enough, with the aforementioned Selznick anecdote.
It was actually an anecdote at the tail end of the story that caught my attention, a story involving Ken Freeman, former chairman and CEO of Quest Diagnostics, who had once headed Corning's TV glass business.
All this was fairly routine for the Elizabethans in Ireland; what has made Gilbert famous among sixteenth-century Irish historians is a short anecdote rehearsed of him by one of his soldiers, the poet Thomas Churchyard.