What is literature

What is literature - ± “what gets taught in schools”...

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What is literature? Why does it matter? How have people defined literature? ± Literature encompasses poetry, fiction (novels, short stories) and drama ± These genres are rooted in everyday life ± Things function as symbols not only in poems but also in daily conversations ± We spin out narratives every day because doing so helps us Definition of literature ± 14 th c.-18 th c. literature was a synonym for literacy ± People of literature were assumed to be well read ± 18 th c. –the term’s meaning changed: it referred to books and other printed texts – the scope of lietrature was broad, encompassing all public writing ± 19 th c. imaginative, creative writing
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What about literature has mattered to people? ± Literary history can be seen as a history of changing responses to literature ± How has the knowledge of literature served as cultural capital ? (a person’s worth?)
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Unformatted text preview: ± “what gets taught in schools” ± It provides enjoyment ± Serves as “equipment for living” ± “When it is the real thing, literature enlarges us, strips the film of familiarity from the world; creates bonds of sympathy with all kinds, even with evil characters, who we learn are all in the family.” What can you do to make literature matter to others? ± “Art lives upon discussion, upon experiment, upon curiosity, upon variety of attempt, upon the exchange of views and the comparison of standpoints.” (Henry James) ± The ancient Greek philosopher Plato wanted to ban poets from his ideal republic because he thought they merely imitated truth ± Throughout subsequent history, various groups have tried to abolish or censor much literature (Twain, Salinger, Rushdie)...
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What is literature - ± “what gets taught in schools”...

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