Sunday, October 2, 2011

WHAT IS LITERATURE?

Look up the term literature in any current encyclopedia and you will be struck by the vagueness of its usage as well as by an inevitable lack of substance in the attempts to define it. In most cases, literature is referred to as the entirety of written expression, with the restriction that not every written document can be categorized as literature in the more exact sense of the word. The definitions, therefore, usually include additional adjectives such as "aesthetic" or "artistic" to distinguish literary works from texts of everyday use such as telephone books, newspapers, legal documents, and scholarly writings. Etymologically, the Latin word "litteratura" is derived from "littera" (letter), which is the smallest element of alphabetical writing. (Klarer, M., 2004)

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