DEFINITION OF LITERATURE The word literature is derived from the Latin term Litera which means letter. It has been defined by various writers. Because literature deals with ideas, thoughts and emotions of man, literature can be said to be the story of man. Man’s loves, griefs, thoughts, dreams, and aspirations coached in a beautiful language is Literature.
In order to know the history of a nation’s spirit, one must read its literature. Brother Azurin defines Literature that it expresses the feelings of people to society, to the government, to his surroundings, to his Fellowmen and to his Divine Creator. Webster defines literature as anything that is printed, as long as it is related to the ideas and feelings of people, whether it is true, or just a product of one’s imagination. Salazar and Nazal says that true literature is a piece of written work which is undying.
In response to his everyday efforts to live, to be happy in his environment and, after struggles, to reach his Creator.
UNIVERSALITY Great literature is timeless and timely. Forever relevant, it appeals to one and all, anytime, anywhere, because it deals with elemental feelings, fundamental truths and universal conditions.
Artistry This is the quality that appeals to our sense of beauty.
Intellectual ValueA literary works stimulates thought. It enriches our mental life by making us realize fundamental truths about life and human nature.
Suggestiveness This is the quality associated with the emotional power of literature. Great literature moves us deeply and stirs our feeling and imagination, giving and evoking visions above and beyond the plane of ordinary life and experience.
Spiritual Value Literature elevates the spirit by bringing out moral values which makes a better persons. The capacity to inspire is part of the spiritual value of literature.
Permanence A great work of literature endures. It can be read again and again as each reading gives fresh delight and new insights and opens a new world of meaning and experience. Its appeal is lasting.
Style Thisis the peculiar way in which writers sees life, forms his ideas and expresses them.
We study Philippine Literature so that we can better appreciate our literary heritage. Through the study of Philippine Literature, we can trace our rich heritage of ideas and handed down to us from our forefathers. Understand that we have a noble traditions which can serve as the means to assimilate other cultures. Realize literary limitations conditioned by certain historical factors and we can take steps to overcome them. Manifest our deep concern for our own literature.
Literature and History Literature and history are closely interrelated. In discovering history of a race, a country, we basically understand their own culture and traditions, hence the written customs and traditions of a country, the dreams and aspirations of its people is called Literature. History can also be written down and this too, is literature. History therefore is an integral part of literature.
Literature and history however also have their differences. Literature may not necessarily be based on true events but history is.
Literary Compositions thatinfluenced the world The Bible or the Sacred Writings – This has become the basis of Christianity originating from Palestine and Greece. Koran- The Muslim Bible originating from Arabia. The Iliad and Odyssey – These have been the source of myths and legends of Greece. They were written by Homer.
The Mahabharata- The longest epic of the world. It contains the history of religion of India. Canterbury Tales- It depicts the religion and customs of the English in the early days. This originated from England and written by Chaucer. Uncle Tom’s Cabin- by Harriet Beecher Stowe of the US. This depicted the sad fate of slaves; this became the basis of democracy later on. The Divine Comedy – by Dante Alighieri This shows the religion and customs of the
El Cid Compeador – This shows the cultural characteristics of the Spaniards and their national history. The Song of Roland – This includes Doce Pares and Ronscesvalles of France. It tells about the Golden age of Christianity in France. The Book of the Dead – This includes the cult of Osiris and the mythology and theology of Egypt. One Thousand and One Nights or the Arabian Nights – From Arabia and Persia (Iran) It shows the ways of government, of industries and of the society of the Arabs
Types of Prose Novel- This is a long narrative divided into chapters. Short Story – It is a fictional narrative in prose consisting of a series of events designed to create a single dominant effect. It is intended to be read in one sitting Plays- These are presented on a stage, is divided into acts and each acts has many
Essay- is a prose composition with a focused subject of discussion or a long systematic discourse. The word essay is taken from the French infinitive essayer to try or to attempt Biography – This deals with the life of a person. Fairytale – Is a type of narrative that relates the lives and adventures of supernatural spirit.
Folktale – Is a narrative filled with the superstition, anecdotes, proverbs, legends, and customs of a particular group, race or geographical region. Myth – is a traditional story of unknown authorship, ostensively with historical basis, but serving usually to explain some phenomena of nature, the origin of man and customs. Myths usually involve the exploit of gods and goddesses. Parable- is a short single story, usually of an occurrence of a familiar kind, from which moral or religious lesson may be