1

WHAT IS LITERATURE? WHAT IS A TEXT?

 

 

 

 

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” in order to distinguish literary works from texts for everyday use such as telephone books, newspapers, legal documents, and scholarly writings.

Etymologically, the Latin word litteratura derives from littera (letter), ...

Get An Introduction to Literary Studies, 3rd Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.