You are on page 1of 16

Introduction to

English Literature
Asih Sigit Padmanugraha
September 2011

THE PLACE OF LITERATURE IN


ENGLISH DEPARTMENT

Fields of
Literary Studies

Text Study

Stage
Performance

Literary
Production

English Dept.

Theater

Creative
Writing
2

What is Literature?
Literary study is special: Prof. A. TEEUW
Why?
Compare it to other fields of study
Math
Chemistry

Literature or literature
Literature: Western Term
Literature: English
Literatur: German
Littrature : French

Latin: Litteratura

Literature means grammatika (Greek)


Litteratura and grammatika : littera and

gramma meaning letter


Literature is anything written, the use of
language in written form
4

What is sastra?
Sastra Sanskrit
ss-, directing, teaching, giving instruction
tra refers to tools, equipment, means
Sastra tools to teach, guiding book, manual

or books used to teach


What about text book?

The Definition of Literature


1. Anything written
2. Dulce et utile
3. Performance in words
4. Spontaneous overflow of powerful feeling
5. Imaginative writings
6. Writing moving the readers hearts and

emotions
7. Violation of language
8. Beautiful thoughts and ideas in beautiful
expression
6

1. Literature is anything
written
Too broad
What about books on engineering?
What about writings on the instant noodle

wrapper?
What about oral literature?

2. Literature educates and


entertains
It derives from our inborn love of telling a story,

of arranging words in pleasing patterns, of


expressing in words some special aspect of our
human experience
Is it always useful and entertaining?

3. Performance in Words
Indicating literature is entertaining
What about Danartos the box poem?
What about cyber literature?
What about poems using audiovisual effects?

4. Spontaneous overflow of
powerful feeling
Poets have extraordinary power, imagination and

feeling.
What about logic and reason? It is the ultimate
truth.
Romanticist vs. Neoclassicists

10

5. Imaginative writings
Comic book is imaginative but it is rarely

considered as literature
Eagleton argues that history, philosophy, and
also other sciences are also imaginative
The questions:
Is Darwins The Origins of Species

imaginative or factual?
Is Bunyans prophecy imaginative or
factual?

11

Writings moving the readers


hearts and emotions
Is reading on Tsunami not touching the readers

hearts and emotions?


Is the killing field in Vietnam not touching enough?
Is the bombing in traditional market in the end of
May 2005 not making us trembling?

12

Violation of language
This idea argues that the literary language is

peculiar compared to the one used by common


people
This means that the graffiti might be included as
literature.

13

Beautiful thoughts and ideas in


beautiful expression
Shakespeares Winter expresses a simple

theme, an ordinary life in a winter in England


The Glass Canoe contains many harsh languages
which are far from being beautiful

14

Definition important to bear in


mind
Sapardi Djoko Damono and Jonathan Culler define

literature as a cultural production which is in a


particular place and time considered as literature
This implies literature as a something not created
in a vacuum condition
Literature is one era might not be considered as
literature in another era

15

Literature and Culture


Based on the previous definition, therefore, as

Eagleton argues, how is literature read means


whose culture is privileged
This means literature and power is inseparable
Here comes Eagletons thesis called political
criticism

16