What is literature?

  • (noun): Published writings in a particular style on a particular subject.
    Example: "The technical literature"; "one aspect of Waterloo has not yet been treated in the literature"
    See also — Additional definitions below


Literature (from Latin litterae (plural); letter) is the art of written work and can, in some circumstances, refer exclusively to published sources. The word literature literally means "things made from letters" and the pars pro toto term "letters" is sometimes used to signify "literature," as in the figures of speech "arts and letters" and "man of letters." Literature is commonly classified as having two major forms—fiction and non-fiction—and two major techniques—poetry and prose.

Read more about Literature.

Some articles on literature:

Odysseas Elytis - Reference Works
... Literature 1935–1971 (Icaros 1977) Tasos Lignadis Elytis' Axion Esti (1972) Lili Zografos Elytis – The Sun Drinker (1972) as well as the special issue of the American magazine Books Abroad dedicated to the work ... and Elytis Poet of Time, Poet of Space', in Comparative Literature, 36(3), 1984 A ... Decavalles 'Odysseus Elytis in the 1980s', in World Literature Today, 62(l), 1988 ...
One Canada Square - External Relations - In Popular Culture - Literature
... One Canada Square previously appeared in the Virgin Missing Adventures novel Millennial Rites in which the top floor was the headquarters of a yuppie who inadvertently turned London into a "dark fantasy" kingdom in which he was a powerful sorcerer, with the tower as his citadel and the Past Doctor Adventures novel The Time Travellers, in which it was the headquarters of the British Army in an alternate timeline ... One Canada Square also features prominently in an early issue of the Grant Morrison comic series The Invisibles, in which Dane MacGowan is encouraged to jump from the top by his mentor, Tom O'Bedlam, as an initiation rite that will allow him to see beyond reality and join The Invisibles. ...
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - Writing - Style
... he used in his poetry as well as subject matter came from legends, mythology, and literature ... during this period, called for the development of high quality American literature ... In Kavanagh, a character says We want a national literature commensurate with our mountains and rivers.. ...
Young England - Literature
... Like Manners' England's Trust and Plea for National Holy-days (1843), George Smythe's Historical Fancies (1844) earnestly imagines a revival of feudalism, but the solutions both Manners and Smythe offer for industrial disorder are, in spite of the increasingly urban character of Victorian society, chiefly agrarian ... Disraeli's trilogy Coningsby (1844), Sybil (1845), and Tancred (1847) details the intellectual arguments of Young England while showing an informed sympathy for England's poor ...
Frantz Fanon - References in The Arts - Literature
... American Pastoral, including the work in a long list of revolutionary literature that the protagonist's daughter reads ...

More definitions of "literature":

  • (noun): The profession or art of a writer.
    Example: "Her place in literature is secure"
  • (noun): The humanistic study of a body of literature.
    Synonyms: lit
  • (noun): Creative writing of recognized artistic value.

Famous quotes containing the word literature:

    Many writers who choose to be active in the world lose not virtue but time, and that stillness without which literature cannot be made.
    Gore Vidal (b. 1925)

    As a man has no right to kill one of his children if it is diseased or insane, so a man who has made the gradual and conscious expression of his personality in literature the aim of his life, has no right to suppress himself any carefully considered work which seemed good enough when it was written. Suppression, if it is deserved, will come rapidly enough from the same causes that suppress the unworthy members of a man’s family.
    —J.M. (John Millington)

    I did toy with the idea of doing a cook-book.... The recipes were to be the routine ones: how to make dry toast, instant coffee, hearts of lettuce and brownies. But as an added attraction, at no extra charge, my idea was to put a fried egg on the cover. I think a lot of people who hate literature but love fried eggs would buy it if the price was right.
    Groucho Marx (1895–1977)