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– from Latin literratura, a derivative of literatus,

versed in literature, culture; writings having
excellence of form or expression and presenting
ideas of permanent or universal interest; the body of
written works produced in a particular language,
country, or age.
 Prose - a literary medium distinguished from poetry
especially by its greater irregularity and variety of
rhythm and its closed resemblance to the patterns of
everyday speech.

 Poetry – writing that formulates a concentrated

imaginative awareness of experience in language
chosen and arranged to create a specific response
through its meaning, sound, and rhythm.
 Fiction

 Poetry

 Drama

 Creative Nonfiction

• Novels

• Short stories

• Flash fiction / Sudden Fiction

The Shortest Story Ever Told
by Thomas Bailey Aldrich

A woman is sitting in her old shuttered

house. She knows that she is alone in the world;
every other thing is dead. The doorbell rings
A woman is sitting in her old shuttered

She knows that she is alone in the world.
Every other thing is dead.

The doorbell rings.

• Lyric : ode, song, elegy, sonnet, formal verses

• Narrative : epic, ballad, metrical tales

• Dramatic : tragedy, comedy, classical drama


• Prose Drama

• Theater of the Absurd

• Epic Theater
 Sumerian/Babylonian (3,500B.C.)
 The Epic of Gilgamesh – 24 clay tablets written in
cuneiform writing; the search for immortality
 Persian
 Shanamah – the epic of kings, 60,000 couplets
written by Firdausi ; includes the story of “Rustam and
 Indian
 Mahabharata – two families are claiming the
kingdom; includes the play “Shakuntala” written by
 Ramayana- Rama, Sita, and Lakhsman live in the
forest for 14 years; Sita is abducted by Ravan
 Greek
 The Iliad – written by Homer, consists of 24 books
covering the last 49 days of the tenth year of the Trojan
War, probably in the 10th century B.C.
 The Odyssey – also by Homer, consists also of 24
books, represents the ten-year struggle of Odysseus to
reach and save his own kingdom, Ithaca, after the fall of
 Roman
 The Aeneid – was written by Virgil in the first century
A.D. .The story tells of how Aeneas is able to found the
city of Rome.
 Medieval / European
 Beowulf – England’s oldest epic is about the heroic
deeds of Beowulf who helps save the kingdom of
 The Nibelungenlied – consists of 39 parts called
adventures, it tells the story of Siegfried and how he
helps King Gunther win his bride. It is also about the
lack of union between rival, kindred tribes.
 The Song of Roland – probably written near the end
of the 11th century. The story depicted the great
struggle of Christian knights of France under
Charlemagne against the Moors or the Mohammedans.
 The Cid – written about 1200. The story tells of the
deeds of the great “Cid” or “Lord” Rodrigo in his wars
with the Moors.

 The Divine Comedy – written by Dante, is the

greatest epic of Italy and of Medieval Christianity. The
epic has three parts: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso.
The great purpose to be accomplished in the epic is
the salvation of the soul.
 Metrical Romance – a long rambling love story in
verse. It is the type of literature most characteristics of
the Middle ages. Chivalry, romantic love, religion
predominate. Wonderful and impossible adventures are
set forth.
 The Ballad – a short narrative poem which could be
sung. It’s very short and told in great rapidity. It tells a
simple, serious story which usually had a tragic ending;
love, tragedy, and the supernatural predominate.
 Lord Randall, Get Up and Bar the Door, Lochinvar, Richard
Cory, Eleanor Rigby, Ang Huling El Bimbo
 Metrical Tale – comparable to a short story in verse. It
deals with any emotion or phase of life, and its story is
told in as simple, straightforward, and realistic a
manner as possible
1. 1. The Canterbury Tales – written by Geoffrey
Chaucer. It is a large collection of otherwise isolated
stories. It features the different people of Medieval
2. 2. The Decameron – written by Giovanni Boccaccio. It
is a collection of tales told by a ten young people
escaping the Black Death from the city of Florence.
 Ode – the most majestic type of poetry. It expresses
enthusiasm, lofty praise of some person or thing, deep
reflection, or retained feeling
 Ode to the West Wind (Shelley), Ode to Duty (Wordsworth)
 Elegy – voices the author’s personal grief for a loved
one or a meditation on death. It is a poem of
 Break, Break, Break (Tennyson); Crossing the Bar (Tennyson)
 Sonnet – composed of 14 iambic pentameter lines
 How Do I Love Thee? (Barrett Browning)
 Sonnet 18 (Shakespeare)
 Poetic Plays - dramas written in verse form
 Greek and Roman Drama: Oedipus Rex, (Sophocles)
 Shakespearean drama : Othello, King Lear, The Tempest

 Dramatic Monologues – has but one speaker and

is not adapted for regular stage presentation. The great
master of this form was Robert Browning. He chooses a
particular crisis in the life of the speaker, makes him or
her lay bare the depths of his/her soul and
unconsciously reveals all the hidden springs and
motives for action.
 My Last Duchess (Browning)
A composition intended to portray life or
character or tell a story usually involving
conflicts and emotions through action and
dialogue and typically designed for theatrical
 An Enemy of the People (Henrik Ibsen)
 The Injustice Done to Tou Ngo (Hanqing)
 Fuente Ovejuna (Lope de Vega)
 Cyrano de Bergerac (Edmond Rostand)
 The Boar (Anton Chekhov)
 Death of a Salesman (Arthur Miller)
 An analytic, interpretative, or critical literary
composition usually much shorter and less
systematic and formal than a dissertation or thesis
and usually dealing with its subject from a limited
and often personal point of view.
 Familiar Essay – an informal, light-hearted form

 Formal Essay – a serious form of the essay

 Michel de Montaigne used the term essais in 1571

 Francis Bacon – Father of the English essay
 Charles Lamb – Father of the familiar essay
 The Short Story – brief fictional prose narrative
usually concerned with a single effect conveyed in
a single significant episode or scene and involving
a limited number of characters, sometimes only

 The Novel - fictional prose narrative of

considerable length and a certain complexity that
deals imaginatively with human experience
through a connected sequence of events involving
a group of people in a specific setting.
 Picaresque novel – an early form of the novel,
usually first-person narrative relating the
adventure of a rogue or lowborn adventurer who
drifts from place to place.
 Don Quixote (Miguel de Cervantes)
 The Adventures of Hucleberry Finn (Mark Twain)

 Epistolary novel – told through the medium of

letters by one or more of the characters. This was
one of the earliest forms of the novel to be
 The Color Purple (Alice Walker)
 The Black Box ( Amos Oz)
 Gothic novel - European romantic,
pseudomedieval fiction having a prevailing
atmosphere of mystery and terror.
 Frankenstein ( Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley)
 Dracula (Bram Stoker)

 Roman a clef – has extraliterary interest of

portraying identifiable, sometimes real people
more or less thinly disguised as fictional
 Animal Farm (George Orwell)
 Finnegan’s Wake (James Joyce)
 Historical novel – has its setting a period of
history and that attempts to convey the spirit,
manners, and social conditions of a past age with
realistic detail and fidelity to historical fact.
 War and Peace (Leo Tolstoi)
 Viajero (F. Sionil Jose)

 Novel of manners – re-creates a social world ,

conveying with finely detailed observation the
customs, values, and mores of a highly developed and
complex society.
 Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility (Jane
 The Age of Innocence ( Edith Wharton)
 Detective stories – employs suspense,
crime, investigation, logical thinking.
The Adventures of the Speckled Band (Arthhur
Conan Doyle)
Death Arrives on Schedule (Hansjörg Martin)

 Sciencefiction – uses science,

technology, the future, the unknown.
 The Feeling of Power (Isaac Asimov)
The Expedition (Rudolf Lorenzen)
 Humorous stories – light, funny,
entertaining pieces
 Lohengrin (Leo Slezak)
A Wedding Without Musicians (Sholom
 Journals and Letters
• The Diary of a Young Girl (Anne Frank)
• Letter to Indira Tagore (Rabindranath Tagore)

 Literary Journalism
• The Frighthening Joy (De Volkskrant)
• Building Atomic Security (Zycie Warszawy)
 Autobiography
• By Any Other Name (Santha Rama Rau)
• The Long Walk to Freedom (Nelson Mandela)

 Biography
• China Men (Maxine Hong Kingston)
• The Last Seven Months of Anne Frank (Willy
 Memoirs
• Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
• Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Alboom)

 Essays
• Of Repentance (Michel de Montaigne)
• A Small Place (Jamaica Kincaid)
 Satire
• A Modest Proposal (Jonathan Swift)
• Cup Inanity and Patriotic profanity (Buenos Aires

 Speeches
• Letter to the English (Joan of Arc)
• Gettyburg Address (Abrahan Lincoln)
 Classical Drama
• Macbeth (William Shakespeare)

 Realistic Drama
• “Master Harold”…and the Boys (Athol Fugard)

 Expressionist Drama
• The Stronger (August Strindberg)
 Theater of the Absurd
• The Man who Turned into a Dog (Osvaldo
• The Bald Soprano (Eugene Ionesco)

 Magic Realist Drama

• A Solid Home (Elena Garro)
 Comedy – the genre of dramatic literature that
deals with light or amusing with the serious and
profound in a light, familiar, or satirical manner.

 Farce – a light, dramatic composition that uses

highly improbable situations, stereotyped
characters, extravagant exaggeration, and violent

 Allegory – a more or less symbolic fictional

narrative that conveys a secondary meaning not
explicitly set forth in the literal narrative.
 Bildungsroman – a class of novel in German
literature that deals with the formative years of the
main character. It ends on apositive note, though it
may be tempered by resignation and nostalgia.
 Magic realism - Latin American literary
phenomenon characterized by the incorporation
of fantastic or mythical elements matter-of-factly
into otherwise realistic fiction.
 Stream of consciousness – a narrative
technique in nondramatic fiction intended to
render the flow of myriad impressions – visual,
auditory, physical associative, and subliminal.
 Satire - a usually topical literary composition
holding up a human or individual vices, folly,
abuses, or shortcomings to censure by means
of ridicule, irony, or other methods, sometimes
with an intent to bring about improvement.

 Foreshadowing – the organization and

presentation of events and scenes in a work of
fiction or drama so that the reader or observer
is prepared to some degree for what occurs
later in the work.