Mid Term Essay

1038 words - 5 pages

What is literature? Literature does not have a universally accepted definition, etymologically; the term literature derives from Latin (Literatura/Litteratura) “writings formed with letters.” Some definitions include spoken or sung texts; although literature has variably included all written work—writing that possesses literary merit and language that foregrounds literariness, as opposed to ordinary language.
Value Judgment defines literature—it exclusively includes writing that possesses a literary quality or distinction, forming part of the so-called Belles-Lettres (‘Fine Writing’) tradition. The definition used in the Encyclopedia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1910-11): “the best ...view middle of the document...

This literary era defines a time period and describes a particular style and quality of writing. What makes contemporary literature challenging to define is the vast difference among samples of literature, due in part of the many years this period of literature covers. The lack of a definite stile; contemporary literature read differently depending on the reader and writer. Most agree that the era of contemporary writing began in the 1940s—a few scholars claims tis period started at the end of World War II—this where the era’s paring with postmodern literature comes in; beginning after World War II, in 1940, lasting through the 1960s and extending to the current day.
What are some ages of literature? Much of contemporary literature comes from Western authors—not synonymous with English or American literature, this literary period can apply to written works from anywhere in the world. Typical characteristics include reality-based stories with strong characters and a believable story. Settings usually keep to the current or modern era, well-defined, realistic, and highly developed characters are important in classifying a written work as contemporary and most writing in this category features stories that are more character driven than plot driven. Some of the most obvious characteristics include multiple narrators, literature that comments upon itself, a mixture or pastiche of subjects and genres, and experimentation with form and structure.
Genres of this literary period span a variety of writing forms in addition to novels and poetry. Flash fiction, short stories, slam poetry, plays, memoirs, and autobiographies can be included in this category. Different historical period are reflected in literature, National and Tribal Sagas, accounts for the origin of the world and of customs, myths, sometimes carry moral or spiritual messages predominate in the pre-urban eras. Drama and Satire developed as urban culture provided a larger public audience, and later readership, for literary production.

As more urban cultures developed, academies provided a means of transmission for speculative and philosophical literature in early civilizations, resulting in the prevalence of literature in Ancient, India, Persia, and Ancient Greece and Rome. In China, early...

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