Literature is a body of verbal works, written or oral, related by subject-matter, by language or place of origin, or by dominant cultural standards. Literally translated, the word means "acquaintance with letters" (from Latin littera letter). In Western culture the most basic written literary types include poetry and prose, fiction and non-fiction.
This wiki, Literawiki, is for contributors to write about literature. We use it to discuss works of literature, their creators, our preferences and suggestions as well as related topics such as literary techniques. Does your favorite works of literature already have an article here (if not, please add it)? Would you like to add a review?
Literature does not just mean "the books my teacher made me read". Even "classic" literature, which may include older works that seem "out-of-date" at first, are generally works that have lasted this long because they're good. Books like Don Quixote, The Lord of the Rings or Frankenstein may be written in a style that's hard to read until you get used to it, but they've lasted and been read by generations because they are so good at capturing the imagination of many people. Newer books may also be good enough to be read for generations to come. So make sure the books and stories that you think are worth reading are included on this site. Try a search for them to see what others may have said, add to it, if you think it's not complete, and add new articles, if we don't already have one on a book, published work or author you like. (Type the name of your new article into the "Create an Article" box on the main Literawiki page.)
Literature began as soon as people could tell stories. There's evidence from the way some stories seem to have travelled that they were told from generation to generation before writing was invented. Even after writing was first invented, books or scrolls had to be hand copied, so they were expensive and rare.
Forms of literature
These are the main genres with some subgenres
- Biography: Autobiography
- Horror: Ghost stories
- Realism: Magical realism
- Science Fiction: Cyberpunk, Hard SF, Soft SF, Far Future, Utopian, Interstellar Travel
In general, the creators of literature are known as authors. Authors can be younger than 6 years old or older than 60. They come from all over the world and various backgrounds. Other terms for writers include authors, poets, playwrights.
Some of the techniques writers use include