- When somebody mentions “literature,” what’s the first thing you think of? (Dickens? Tolstoy? Shakespeare?)
Here is wikipedia's answer:
The word "literature" has different meanings depending on who is using it and in what context. It could be applied broadly to mean any symbolic record, encompassing everything from images and sculptures to letters. In a more narrow sense the term could mean only text composed of letters, or other examples of symbolic written language (Egyptian hieroglyphs, for example). An even more narrow interpretation is that text have a physical form, such as on paper or some other portable form, to the exclusion of inscriptions or digital media. The Muslim scholar and philosopher Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq (702-765 AD) defined Literature as follows: "Literature is the garment which one puts on what he says or writes so that it may appear more attractive." Panghilito Luigi added that literature is a slice of life that has been given direction and meaning, an artistic interpretation of the world according to the percipient's point of views. Frequently, the texts that make up literature crossed over these boundaries. Illustrated stories, hypertexts, cave paintings and inscribed monuments have all at one time or another pushed the boundaries of "literature."I agree with this definition, it encompasses much more than we seem to give it credit for, this is my favourite quote that I found when looking into this topic, it is by philosopher Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq (702-765 AD) who defined Literature as follows: "Literature is the garment which one puts on what he says or writes so that it may appear more attractive."
This is my main ramble:
It could even be said that the title"literature" is actually taken from worthy subjects to elevate others to a more valued and reverenced place. Literature is the voice of the people, weather told in the oral tradition of passing down through generations, or in the written form and so on. I believe westerners, and those brought up in a western education system need to be careful to not exclude all things unknown, or those not originating from high-class Europe or the US, that is to be an elitist...and that is no good. There is so much amazing literature worldwide! That is what I have to say about that. (sorry, I think this struck a deep place in my heart...)
- Do you read “literature” (however you define it) for pleasure? Or is it something that you read only when you must?
So, since my definition is very broad for literature...I do read literature all the time. I read it every day, and I love reading it, I love submitting myself to the author and entering new places, and far-away lands.