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Soliweg,SeijiP.

DefinitionandNatureOfLiterature
Literaturecanbedefinedasanexpressionofhumanfeelings,thoughts,andideaswhosemediumislanguage,
oralandwritten.Literatureisnotonlyabouthumanideas,thoughts,andfeelingsbutalsoaboutexperiencesof
theauthors.Literaturecanbemediumforhumantocommunicatewhattheyfeel,think,experiencetothe
readers.
Therearemanywaystodefinethetermliteraturebasedondifferentpointofviewssuchasliteratureisart,
literatureislanguage,literatureisaesthetic,literatureisfictional,literatureisexpressive,andliteratureis
affective.Literatureiseverythinginprint.Itmeansanywritingcanbecategorizedasliterature.Anotherwayof
definingliteratureistolimitittogreatbookswhicharenotableforliteraryformorexpression.Ellis
(1989:30)definesliteratureastheverbalexpressionofhumanimaginationandoneoftheprimarymeansby
whichaculturetransmitsitself.Basedonthusdefinitions,literaturecontainsuniversalideas,human
imagination,andhumaninterestthatwritteninanywritingsanduselanguageasmediumtoexpress
humansideasandfeelings.
Inconjunctionwithliteratureasartform,itisbrokendownintoimaginativeliteratureandnonimaginative
literature.Imaginativeliteratureandnonimaginativeliteraturearedistinguishedbasedontheparticularuse
madeoflanguageinliterature.Languageofimaginativeliteratureishighlyconnotativeandlanguageofnon
imaginativeliteratureispurelydenotative.Theconnotativemeaningmeanswordsthatusedinliterary
workshavefeelingandshadesofmeaningthatwordstotendtoevokewhiledenotativemeaningmeansthat
thewordsrefertomeaningindictionary.
Thelanguagethatisusedbyliteraturedifferformordinaryspokenorwrittenlanguage.Literatureusesspecial
words,structures,andcharacteristics.Primarilythelanguageofliteraturediffersfromordinarylanguagein
threeways:(1)languageisconcentratedandmeaningful,(2)itspurposeisnotsimplytoexplain,argue,or
makeapointbutrathertogiveasenseofpleasureinthediscoveryofanewexperience,and(3)itdemands
intenseconcentrationfromthereaders.Itindicatesthatthelanguageofliteraturehasoriginality,quality,
creativity,andpleasure.
Inthiscase,todifferentiatebetweentheliterarytextsandnonliterarytexts(imaginativeandnonimaginative),
Kleden(2004:78)statesthatliteraturecanbedifferentiatebasedonthekindofmeaningsthatexistinatext.
Literarytextconsistsoftextualmeaningandreferentialmeaningandnonliterarytextonlyconsistsof
referentialmeaning.Thetextualmeaningisthemeaningthatisproducedbytherelationshipoftextitself.
Whilereferentialmeaningismeaningthatisproducedbytherelationshipbetweeninternaltextandexternal
text(worldbeyondthetext).
Fromtheuseoflanguageandtheexistenceofmeaninginliteraryworks,itcanbeconcludedthatpoetry,prose
anddramaareputinliteraryworksarticle,journalism,news,bibliography,memoir,andsooncanbe
categorizedasnonliteraryworks.

The definition or nature of literature.


different critics have different views of definition of literature
as Edwin Greenlaw in his book "The Province of Literary History"saysNothing related to the history of civilization is beyond our province.We are not manuscript record in our
efforts to understand a period or civilization,we must see our work in light of its possible contribution to
the history of culture.
literature will be judged valuable only so far as it yields results for all disciplines 'Greats Books' The study
of isolated great books commendable for pedagogical purpose, especially new students should real great
or at least good books and not mere compilation or historical curiosities.
The word literature has its etymological origin in 'litra' or 'written'.The advocates of this theory,ignore oral
literature like legends, folk tales and such other works which have literary values. In literature the
particular use of language as material like as stone is of sculpture and paint of painting .As in The Nature
of Literature the use of the language can be either literary or everyday use ;but this distinction is not
satisfactory.
Nature of literature emerges most clearly under the represential aspects.The centre of literary art is to be
found in lyric,the epic,the drama, it is the reference to a world of fiction,of imagination.Characters have
no past ,no future and no continuity in life.time and space in a novel or drama are not those of real
life.The distinguishing traits of literature are fictionality,invention or imagination.
Literature grows out of life;but it is difficult to define it. Anything in print can be literature but it is not true.
Historical study overlooks literary values;literary study has the emotional content predominant. Purely
informative books have aesthetic points, Oral literature is part of literature as found in legends, myths, and
ballads epics etc.Style and language make literature distinct as it is expression of emotion in words.
Imagination and fictionality are the distinctive features of literature,it is personal use or exercise of
language.