roman à clef was our Word of the Day on 06/27/2009. Hear the podcast!
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Recent Examples of roman à clef from the Web
Neither combatant is mentioned in the novel; this is no roman a clef with characters standing in for them.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'roman à clef.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Unlock the fiction, open the door and see the very real people behind it, wrote Jeff Simon in The Buffalo News (March 19, 1998). That can be easily done when a roman à clef uses fictitious names to present thinly veiled depictions of well-known people or events. But what if only a few insiders know the real people or incidents? In the 1800s, such romans a clef sometimes included a key, a list matching fictional characters with their real-life counterparts, that helped readers recognize the players. Such keys made "roman a clef" (from a French phrase meaning "a novel with a key") an apt term for such works. Nowadays, there are no published keys in a roman à clef - merely veiled (or sometimes blatant) references that connect fact with fiction.
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