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The Literature Portal

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"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

""Frontispiece of a 1659 German translation
"The Man in the Moone is a book by the English "divine and "Church of England bishop "Francis Godwin (1562–1633), describing a "voyage of utopian discovery". Initially considered to be one of his early works, it is now generally thought to have been written in the late 1620s. It was first published posthumously in 1638 under the pseudonym of Domingo Gonsales. The work is notable for its role in what was called the "new astronomy," the branch of "astronomy influenced especially by "Nicolaus Copernicus, the only astronomer mentioned by name, although the book also draws on the theories of "Johannes Kepler, "William Gilbert, and "Galileo Galilei.

The work tells the story of Gonsales, a Spaniard who discovers a species of wild swan able to carry substantial loads, the gansa, and contrives a device that allows him to harness many of them together and fly around an island, and eventually, to the moon and back.

Some critics consider The Man in the Moone, along with Kepler's Somnium, to be one of the first works of science fiction. Although the book was well known in the 17th century, and even inspired parodies by "Cyrano de Bergerac and "Aphra Behn, modern literary critics do not consider it to be very important.

Selected figure

""A 1846 or 1847 daguerreotype of Dickinson
"Emily Elizabeth Dickinson (December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886) was an American "poet. While Dickinson was a prolific private poet, fewer than a dozen of her nearly eighteen hundred poems were published during her lifetime. The work that was published during her lifetime was usually altered significantly by the publishers to fit the conventional poetic rules of the time. Dickinson's poems are unique for the era in which she wrote; they contain short lines, typically lack titles, and often use "slant rhyme as well as unconventional capitalization and punctuation. Many of her poems deal with themes of death and immortality, two recurring topics in letters to her friends.

Although most of her acquaintances were probably aware of Dickinson's writing, it was not until after her death in 1886—when Lavinia, Dickinson's younger sister, discovered her cache of poems—that the breadth of Dickinson's work became apparent. Her first collection of poetry was published in 1890 by personal acquaintances "Thomas Wentworth Higginson and "Mabel Loomis Todd, both of whom heavily edited the content. A complete and mostly unaltered collection of her poetry became available for the first time in 1955 when The Poems of Emily Dickinson was published by scholar Thomas H. Johnson. Despite some unfavorable reviews and some skepticism during the late 19th and early 20th century as to Dickinson's literary prowess, she is now almost universally considered to be one of the most important American poets.

Selected excerpt


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Selected illustration

""George Cruikshank - Tristram Shandy, Plate VIII. The Smoking Batteries.jpg
Credit: "George Cruikshank

"The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman is a humorous novel by "Laurence Sterne, published in nine volumes between 1759 and 1767. Written as a biography of the fictional titular character, its style is marked by "digression and "amplification. This illustration depicts two characters puffing a hookah-like cannon-firing device.

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Today in literature

"11 December


"Literature: "History of literature · "History of the book · "Literary criticism · "Literary theory · "Publishing
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Related portals

"Portals related to literature:

Concepts: "Books · "Library and information science · "Novels · "Poetry · "Theatre · "Writing
Genres: "Children and Young Adult · "Horror fiction · "Speculative fiction
Authors: "Charles Dickens · "Oscar Wilde · "Robert E. Howard · "Shakespeare. "Jane Austen.
Series: "Discworld · "Harry Potter · "James Bond · "King Arthur · "Middle-earth · "Oz · "Twilight
Regions: "French and Francophone
Religions: "Bible · "Quran · "Book of Mormon

Related WikiProjects

"WikiProjects related to "literature:

Concepts: "Biographies · "Books · "Comics · "Magazines · "Manga · "Novels · "Poetry · "Short stories · "Translation studies
Genres: "Alternate history · "Children's literature · "Crime · "Fantasy · "Horror · "Mythology · "Romance · "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

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