What is literature and why do we need to study it again and again…???

What is literature?

That may seem like an obvious question, but what counts as literature. Is it classic novels by Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy? Is it self-published erotica with werewolves, kinky vampires and hot billionaires?

Well, its both. Some may not agree and thats okay, but in theory Literaure is a set of texts. This counts as novels, plays, poetry, even the instructions for your microwave.

Its words and paragraphs and language.

Why do we Study Literature?

When we study literature we are looking for new meanings. We are looking for reasons why and how the text has been written the way it was. The author’s intention, means very little when it come to Literay Analysis.

When we analyse literature we consider

  • The Genre: what is the usual practise in other novels in this category.
  • language: what meanings can be derived
  • other novels by the author
  • the historical period that the novel was written in or makes reference to
  • comparison of other works written at the same time and can decide whether the style of writing appears to follow the staus quo of that time
  • review what assumptions we already have about the novel
  • we seek the opinions of other readers
  • evidence that supports your argument

Surely this has already been done by others?

Of course it has, but it hasnt been done by you. You have unique thoughts and feelings that could offer new insights into the novel. Each time a new generation reads classic literature, it has new meanings. thats what can make a novel canonical. It can transcend generations and still apply today as it did when it was first published.

Procrastination was a good thing?

Writing is hard freaking work. So, I decided about 3 years ago I needed professional help and found the Open University had a Batchelor’s degree course in creative writing.

So yeah, I procrastinated harder than most people. I joined a six year course because I wanted to put off writing. I wanted an excuse.

Its actualy one of the best things I’ve ever done. assignment stress aside, I have learnt a great deal about myself and my capabilities.

Although I dream of becoming a paperback writer, my writing needs som serious improvment. A huge part of that is confidence and practise. however, a slightly bigger part of that is having a wealth of tools to help.

Close reading of literary classics, canon and the bestsellers -in the genre that you wish to write in – can benefit my ability to write a constructive text.

Each Esssay I write, the notes I form in my own words, each peice of feedback I receive, strengthens the words I construct in my own novels.

I have learnt some very cool techniques for studying literature and academic writing . Over the next few weeks, other than book reviews, I will be sharing tips on Literary Analysis and Critical Thinking.

Writing is freaking hard. So is studying literature with zero road map. this blog is my road map from what I learn, and wil hopefully help others.

All the Best xo

Kirsten