Literature?

by brooksbrendan

Brendan

Well I guess I will never really have an answer to my question. I suppose in many ways it was selfish of me to ask. As it was pointed we could argue semantics all day and still never have an answer (and I would gladly listen to the argument all day). I am so heavily influenced by books, both at school and at work, that it really has become a quest for me to discover why one piece of work is studied and idolised while others are disposed of quickly. I do believe ther is a difference between fiction and literature. Literature seems to be that which has staying power. For every Joyce and Tolstoy there are countless other authors that have dissapeared. We see the lines of Literature bluring today because of the mass amount of novels available, but i have seen many authors removed from store shelves after six months never to be heard from (or available on amazon.ca) again. So i am going to return to my Batman comic (i can’t believe they killed him!) and realise it probably will never be considered literature. I apologise to anyone now tormented with this question now and leave you with one more. Is this literature? Follow the link below.  http://collection.eliterature.org/1/works/andrews__nio.html

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2 Comments to “Literature?”

  1. I think that it is a question worth asking. It is a question that has long been asked, and it will continue to be asked. Indeed, I have added three articles on this question to this week’s block in Moodle for everyone’s consideration. All three articles were published in academic journals within the past three years – I will say a little more about them in class on Wednesday afternoon.

    Aurelea.

  2. It seems that the question of “What is literature” really comes down to what is legitimate. I’m not quite sure what you mean by staying power though. That statement seems shrouded in ambiguity itself since what may impact you, could possibly have no transformative effect on me. So who wins?
    I found an old, but nonetheless relevant article which nicely sums up some of the issues we are debating:

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101031124-543785,00.html

    “This was something strange and new. Reading literature and having a damn good time had become quietly but decidedly uncoupled. And yet we think of this state of affairs as normal, and it has left us with a set of perverse biases that persist to this day. We have a high tolerance for boredom and difficulty. We praise rich, complex, lyrical prose, but we don’t really appreciate the pleasures of a well-paced, gracefully structured plot. Or, worse, we appreciate them, but we are embarrassed about it…………The next literary wave will come not from above but from below, from the foil-covered, embossed-lettered paperbacks in the drugstore racks.”

    This take on literature seems to define it as an evolving concept, with no permanent set of guidelines or expectations. Rather, it is a reflection of the changing societies and audiences which embrace it. This is probably the definition that I am most comfortable with.

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