Topic: Meaning of literature
Literature is purely the written record of life in the expressions of truth and beauty; it is the composed record of the soul of man, of his ideas, his feelings, his aspirations. It is the history, the one and the only history of the human spirit. It is depicted by its artistic, suggestive and permanent characteristics. Its two important tests are its personal style and its universal intrigue. Its purpose, besides the joy it gives us, is to know man, that is, the spirit of man instead of his activities; and since it beautifully preserves to the race, the beliefs on which all our civilization is established, it is one of the most important and superb subjects that the human mind can occupy.
Literature in the broader sense simply alludes to the composed record of the race, including its history and science, and its novels, poems, books and whatnot. In the narrow sense, literature is the artistic record of the life and most of our writing is not included in literature like the mass of buildings, mere shelters from cold or storm are excluded from architecture. Any history or a work of science may be, and some of the time is literature, but only when we ignore the subject-matter and the introduction of facts in the simple beauty of its expression.
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