Portal:Literature

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


The Literature Portal

Books-aj.svg aj ashton 01.svg
Literature is a term that does not have a universally accepted definition, but which has variably included all written work; writing that possesses literary merit; and language that foregrounds literariness, as opposed to ordinary language. Etymologically the term derives from Latin literatura/litteratura "writing formed with letters", although some definitions include spoken or sung texts. Literature can be classified according to whether it is fiction or non-fiction, and whether it is poetry or prose; it can be further distinguished according to major forms such as the novel, short story or drama; and works are often categorised according to historical periods, or according to their adherence to certain aesthetic features or expectations (genre).

Literature may consist of texts based on factual information (journalistic or non-fiction), a category that may also include polemical works, biographies, and reflective essays, or it may consist of texts based on imagination (such as fiction, poetry, or drama). Literature written in poetry emphasizes the aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language—such as sound, symbolism, and metre—to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, ordinary meanings, while literature written in prose applies ordinary grammatical structure and the natural flow of speech. Literature can also be classified according to historical periods, genres, and political influences. While the concept of genre has broadened over the centuries, in general, a genre consists of artistic works that fall within a certain central theme; examples of genre include romance, mystery, crime, fantasy, erotica, and adventure, among others.

More about literature

Selected work

Audrey Niffenegger in 2009
The Time Traveler's Wife is the debut novel of American author Audrey Niffenegger, published in 2003. It is a love story about a man with a genetic disorder that causes him to time travel unpredictably, and about his wife, an artist, who has to cope with his frequent absences and dangerous experiences. Niffenegger, frustrated in love when she began the work, wrote the story as a metaphor for her failed relationships. The tale's central relationship came to her suddenly and subsequently supplied the novel's title. The novel, which has been classified as both science fiction and romance, examines issues of love, loss, and free will. In particular, it uses time travel to explore miscommunication and distance in relationships, while also investigating deeper existential questions.

As a first-time novelist, Niffenegger had trouble finding a literary agent. She eventually sent the novel to MacAdam/Cage unsolicited and, after an auction took place for the rights, Niffenegger selected them as her publishers. The book became a bestseller after an endorsement from author and family friend Scott Turow on The Today Show, and as of March 2009 had sold nearly 2.5 million copies in the United States and the United Kingdom. The novel won the Exclusive Books Boeke Prize and a British Book Award.

Selected figure

Modern artist's impression of what Du Fu may have looked like
Du Fu (Chinese: 杜甫; pinyin: Dù Fǔ; 712 – 770) was a prominent Chinese poet of the Tang Dynasty. Along with Li Bai, he is frequently called the greatest of the Chinese poets. His greatest ambition was to serve his country as a successful civil servant, but he proved unable to make the necessary accommodations. His life, like the whole country, was devastated by the An Lushan Rebellion of 755, and his last 15 years were a time of almost constant unrest.

Although initially he was little-known to other writers, his works came to be hugely influential in both Chinese and Japanese literary culture. Of his poetic writing, nearly fifteen hundred poems have been preserved over the ages. He has been called the "Poet-Historian" and the "Poet-Sage" by Chinese critics, while the range of his work has allowed him to be introduced to Western readers as "the Chinese Virgil, Horace, Ovid, Shakespeare, Milton, Burns, Wordsworth, Béranger, Hugo or Baudelaire". In his lifetime and immediately following his death, Du Fu was not greatly appreciated, however according to the Encyclopædia Britannica, today Du Fu's writings are considered by many literary critics to be among the greatest of all time.

Selected excerpt

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

Categories

Click [+] or ► to view subcategories

Selected illustration

Charles Robert Leslie - Sir Walter Scott - Ravenswood and Lucy at the Mermaiden's Well - Bride of Lammermoor.jpg
Credit: James Davis Cooper

The Bride of Lammermoor is a historical novel by Sir Walter Scott; a member of his Waverley Novels series. Set in the Lammermuir Hills of south-east Scotland, it tells a tragic love story that Scott indicated was based on an actual incident. This illustration depicts the two lovers, Lucy Ashton and Edgar Ravenswood, the Ashton family's political enemy.

Did you know

Today in literature

1 August

Topics

Literature: History of literature · History of the book · Literary criticism · Literary theory · Publishing
By genre: Biography · Comedy · Drama · Epic · Erotic · Fable · Fantasy · Historical fiction · Horror · Mystery · Narrative nonfiction · Nonsense · Lyric · Mythopoeia · Poetry · Romance · Satire · Science fiction · Tragedy · Tragicomedy · more...
By region: African literature · Asian · European · Latin American · North American · Oceanic
By era: Ancient literature · Early medieval · Medieval · Renaissance · Early Modern · Modern
By century: 10th century in literature · 11th · 12th · 13th · 14th · 15th · 16th · 17th · 18th · 19th · 20th · 21st
Recent: 2014 in literature · 2013 · 2012 · 2011 · 2010 · 2009 · 2008 · 2007 · 2006 · 2005 · more...

Things you can do

Related portals

Related WikiProjects

WikiProjects related to literature:

Concepts: Biographies · Books · Comics · Magazines · Manga · Novels · Poetry · Short stories
Genres: Alternate history · Children's literature · Crime · Fantasy · Horror · Mythology · Science fiction
Authors: Honoré de Balzac · Roald Dahl · William Shakespeare
Series: Artemis Fowl · Chronicles of Narnia · Discworld · Harry Potter · His Dark Materials · Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy · Inheritance Cycle · James Bond · King Arthur · Middle-earth · Percy Jackson · Redwall · A Series of Unfortunate Events · Shannara · Sherlock Holmes · A Song of Ice and Fire · Star Wars · Sword of Truth · Twilight · Warriors · Water Margin · Wizard of Oz
Regions: Australian literature · Indian literature · Persian literature

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia sister projects provide more on this subject:
Wikibooks  Wikimedia Commons Wikinews  Wikiquote  Wikisource  Wikiversity  Wikivoyage  Wiktionary  Wikidata 
Manuals and books Images and media News Quotations Texts Learning resources Travel guides Definitions Database