What makes a piece of writing worthy to be called literature anyway? And by literature, I do not mean the abridged version of the texts blatantly distilled to ease away the language stress for the readers. I do not know the exact answer myself. To me, only certain books may be called real literature. Writings that have great and profound ideas that have stood the test of time, that when first published were considered very radical during their eras, and those that are continually read throughout the centuries by countless generations of readers.
1. Language Immersion & Improvement.
This is probably the most evident thing I’ve learnt thus far through reading and analyzing literature. Literature generally has more intricate language compared to normal texts. This makes them able to be analyzed deeply. You delve into the techniques of the language and decode the ideas of the author. You learn new words as you read the texts, thus expanding your arsenal of words rapidly. The authors even breathe new life into common words as they are used in new and unthinkable ways. Needless to say, language improvement is inevitable as you study literature texts.
2. Literature Makes You More Human.
Reading literature connects us to our emotions, psychology and humanity. There’s a reason why we analyze the characters. We put ourselves in their shoes as we analyze their emotional state. We learn to sympathize and empathize with certain characters when misfortune continually befalls them. Nonetheless, we also learn to despise antagonists who callously torment other characters. The spectrum of good and evil is presented to us through plots and characters, appealing to our human psyche to make our judgments. Thus, our human side is engaged as we glide through the pages of literature texts.
3. Timeless Themes & Messages.
Thematic concerns in literature are aplenty; Love & Hate, Family, Good vs. Evil, Conformity vs. Non-conformity etc. The list is endless. Themes presented in literature are often timeless. For instance, one can read Bronte’s ‘Jane Eyre’ now in the 21st century and find that the themes are as relevant today as it was in the 19th century. You can read Bradbury’s futuristic ‘Fahrenheit 451’ and start questioning whether technology is eroding away our humanity in this era. Their messages seem to be perpetually relevant to the readers, that is in itself, very profound.
4. Age-old Literature and Contemporary Literature Are Not Exactly The Same.
Sure, the language is the same, similar words are used. But really, all I can say is the linguistic density is rather lost through time. I’m not saying that literature texts are artificially verbose and bombastic. I feel that those texts are necessarily so in order to create the right impact on the readers. What I feel when I read a literature texts and contemporary texts are different. Contemporary texts don’t get you thinking as much when you peruse the words. Literature texts make you question the words being used often. Even the themes in both contemporary and old literature texts are not exactly the same. Even if they are, the presentation of the themes is never the same. You can read ‘Twilight’ and ‘Wuthering Heights’ and know which is innately the real definition of literature.
That is all for now. We hope you enjoyed this post. As usual, we would love to hear your views regarding this topic.
Image courtesy of http://www.sorrento-centre.bc.ca/auction/files/antiquebooks.jpg