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Saturday, 18 October 2014

What is Literature?



Literature could be defined as an imitation of life. In its broadest sense, literature is any written or spoken material. It is derived from Latin ‘Literatura’ (writing formed with letters). It is mostly associated with works of the creative imagination. It introduces us to the worlds of experience.

Also, literature can be regarded as a discipline that can be studied as a subject in a formal setting. However, it is the mode of expressing feelings and emotions.
Literature could be labeled an Escape Literature which is literature written purely for entertainment. This type of literature provides little or no insights into human behaviours and its true nature. When it is Imperative Literature, it provides insight into human life and behaviour.


Literature as the mirror of life
That metaphor gives a vivid description of what literature does. A mirror is a piece of glass that reflects images. It is something that shows what another thing is like in a very clear and accurate way. So is literature. It is a depiction of reality. Literature gives us a reflection of what happens in the society. It mirrors people, their customs and traditions for others to see and learn from.
Literature is the foundation of life. It is the portrait of human society and the happenings inherent in it. Literature provides the opportunity to teach the reader about life experiences and to take a closer look at the different faces of life. In other words, there is a connection between literature and life. As a matter of fact, literature changes one’s perception toward life.

Importance of literature
Literature offers a lot of benefits to those who admire it. Therefore, what makes literature so important in our lives?
·        Literature provides pleasure to readers. It fills up our leisure time and makes our moment properly utilized. A piece of inspiring literary text relaxes you when you are tense and lightens your heavy heart.
·        Literature conserves the culture of a people. Through the reading of books from other climes, we’ve been able to identify with their culture and beliefs. Literature, as a result, preserves the culture from extinction for the benefit of posterity.
·        Literature improves our language skills and increases our knowledge. Good literature improves our grammar and spelling.
·        Literature helps one develop the right attitude. It is an eye-opening experience that allows us to develop the right attitude, new ideas and help individuals to present themselves as educated members of the society.
·        Literature helps to understand and value people from different religion, culture, races and develop a secular approach towards them. It helps to see through the lenses of others.
·        Literature enlightens
Literature is important to us because it speaks to us. It is universal and it influences us.
Sources of literature
·        Customs and traditions
·        Folklore (or orature)
·        Folk dance
·        Festivals
·        Rituals
·        Myths
·        Legends
A literature writer is called a Litterateurwhile a small group of people in a society who knows a lot about literature is known as Literati. A genius in the field of literature is called Literatus.


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