Guide to Literary Terms

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What is the definition of literature?

The definition of literature is written material, particularly that which is distinguished for its form or content.

Literature

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Last Updated on February 25, 2021, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 106

Literature - writings in which expression and form, in connection with ideas and concerns of universal and apparently permanent interest, are essential features. While applied to any kind of printed material, such as circulars, leaflets, and handbills, there are some who feel it is more correctly reserved for prose and verse of acknowledged excellence, such as George Eliot’s works. The term connotes superior qualities.

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The etymology of literature is the same as that of literal and may be found under that listing.

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Any novel, such as Hardy’s Jude the Obscure or Tess of the D’Urbervilles, may be considered literature.

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Latest answer posted January 4, 2012, 12:13 am (UTC)

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