Literature broadly is any collection of written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, drama, and poetry. In recent centuries, the definition has expanded to include oral literature, much of which has been transcribed. Literatue is a method of recording, preserving, and transmitting knowledge and entertainment.
Literature, as an art form, can also include works in various non-fiction genres, such as autobiography, diaries, memoir, letters, and the essay. Within its broad definition, literature includes non-fictional books, articles or other printed information on a particular subject.
The Duino Elegies
are a collection of ten elegies
written by the Bohemian
poet Rainer Maria Rilke
(1875–1926). Rilke, who is "widely recognized as one of the most lyrically intense German-language poets," began writing the elegies in 1912 while a guest of Princess Marie von Thurn und Taxis
(1855–1934) at Duino Castle
, near Trieste
on the Adriatic Sea
. The poems, 859 lines long in total, were dedicated to the Princess upon their publication in 1923. During this ten-year period, the elegies languished incomplete for long stretches of time as Rilke suffered frequently from severe depression
—some of which was caused by the events of World War I
and being conscripted
into military service. Aside from brief episodes of writing in 1913 and 1915, Rilke did not return to the work until a few years after the war ended. With a sudden, renewed inspiration—writing in a frantic pace he described as a "boundless storm, a hurricane of the spirit"—he completed the collection in February 1922 while staying at Château de Muzot
, in Switzerland
's Rhone Valley
. After their publication in 1923 and Rilke's death in 1926, the Duino Elegies
were quickly recognized by critics and scholars as his most important work.
Edgar Allan Poe
(born Edgar Poe; January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American author, poet, editor, and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement
. Best known for his tales of mystery
and the macabre
, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story
, and is generally considered the inventor of the detective fiction
genre. He is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction
.He was the first well-known American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career.
His publishing career began with an anonymous collection of poems, Tamerlane and Other Poems (1827), credited only to "a Bostonian". Poe switched his focus to prose and spent the next several years working for literary journals and periodicals, becoming known for his own style of literary criticism. His work forced him to move among several cities, including Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City. In Baltimore in 1835, he married Virginia Clemm, his 13-year-old cousin. In January 1845 Poe published his poem, "The Raven", to instant success. His wife died of tuberculosis two years after its publication. For years, he had been planning to produce his own journal, The Penn (later renamed The Stylus), though he died before it could be produced.
||The entire world hung for months over this obscure problem—the most obscure, it seems to me, that has ever challenged the perspicacity of our police or taxed the conscience of our judges. The solution of the problem baffled everybody who tried to find it. It was like a dramatic rebus with which old Europe and new America alike became fascinated. That is, in truth—I am permitted to say, because there cannot be any author's vanity in all this, since I do nothing more than transcribe facts on which an exceptional documentation enables me to throw a new light—that is because, in truth, I do not know that, in the domain of reality or imagination, one can discover or recall to mind anything comparable, in its mystery, with the natural mystery of "The Yellow Room."
|— Gaston Leroux, The Mystery of the Yellow Room
Click [+] or ► to view subcategories
Puck of Pook's Hill is a fantasy book by Rudyard Kipling, published in 1906, containing a series of short stories set in different periods of English history. The stories are all narrated to two children living near Burwash by people magically plucked out of history by the elf Puck, or told by Puck himself. This illustration accompanied the chapter "The Knights of the Joyous Venture".
Did you know
- ... that in his 2013 book, Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir, food personality Eddie Huang relates his past activities, which include practising law, performing stand-up comedy, and dealing marijuana?
- ... that the Indonesian novel Atheist was decried by religious figures, Marxist–Leninists, and anarcho-nihilists?
- ... that one of the essays in William Gibson's new non-fiction collection Distrust That Particular Flavor caused Wired magazine to be banned in Singapore?
- ... that American poet Peter Filkins was the first to translate Czech writer H. G. Adler's novels, described by The New Yorker as "modernist masterpieces", into English?
- ... that it is widely suggested that the publication of the novel Oromay, depicting the Eritrean War, led to the disappearance of its author, Baalu Girma?
Today in literature
Things you can do