What makes literature literature?

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Literature is not a set of books nor an intellectual category, but a writing practice. It is also the art that uses the word as instrument. According to “The International Dictionary of Literatureand Philosophical Grammar” literature refers to imaginative or creative writings of authors who have made writing an excellent way to express ideas. Good literature is the one that can make the readerto imagine or see what the author wants to transmit by his/her words. Writing in verse or prose, the fact that it is an act of communication and the use of language in its aesthetic function are somecharacteristics of literature.

Literature can be written in verse or prose. Verse is a rhythmic unit mostly used to write poems, but it can be used to write stories too. Poems written in verse useto be lyric poems –they express emotions or feelings rather than tell of events. Prose is the complete opposite to verse since it has no metric rhythm, and it is mostly used to write stories, lettersand novels. Most of the writings written in prose are narrative because they tell a story.

Literature is an act of communication because it mostly expresses what the author is living or lived. Italso describes the author’s feelings by the way of describing the settings, characters or atmosphere. What the author wants to communicate is mostly supported by a special event or feeling, so thathe/she can give to the reader advices or moral message. The author has a very good communication with the reader when he/she manages to make the reader feel what he/she (the author) wants the reader tofeel. Sadness, happiness, fear, anger and surprise are some examples of feelings the author can communicate to the reader.

The aesthetic function, which is used by literature, seeks to createbeauty using language. Any poem is an example of aesthetic function. It is also the main function in novels, plays and songs. The aesthetic function can be created by the author using imagery or...
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