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Portal:Literature

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The Literature Portal

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Literature is a term that does not have a universally accepted definition, but which has variably included all written work; writing that possesses literary merit; and language that foregrounds literariness, as opposed to ordinary language. Etymologically the term derives from Latin literatura/litteratura "writing formed with letters", although some definitions include spoken or sung texts. Literature can be classified according to whether it is fiction or non-fiction, and whether it is poetry or prose; it can be further distinguished according to major forms such as the novel, short story or drama; and works are often categorised according to historical periods, or according to their adherence to certain aesthetic features or expectations (genre).

Literature may consist of texts based on factual information (journalistic or non-fiction), a category that may also include polemical works, biographies, and reflective essays, or it may consist of texts based on imagination (such as fiction, poetry, or drama). Literature written in poetry emphasizes the aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language—such as sound, symbolism, and metre—to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, ordinary meanings, while literature written in prose applies ordinary grammatical structure and the natural flow of speech. Literature can also be classified according to historical periods, genres, and political influences. While the concept of genre has broadened over the centuries, in general, a genre consists of artistic works that fall within a certain central theme; examples of genre include romance, mystery, crime, fantasy, erotica, and adventure, among others.

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Ernest Hemingway in military uniform in 1918
"Big Two-Hearted River" is a two-part short story written by American author Ernest Hemingway, published in the 1925 Boni & Liveright edition of In Our Time, the first American volume of Hemingway's short stories. It features a single protagonist, Hemingway's recurrent autobiographical character Nick Adams, whose speaking voice is heard just twice, the story explores the destructive qualities of war which is countered by the healing and regenerative powers of nature. When it was published, critics praised Hemingway's sparse writing style and it became an important work in his canon.

The story is one of Hemingway's earliest pieces to employ his Iceberg Theory of writing; a modernist approach to prose in which the underlying meaning is hinted at, rather than explicitly stated. "Big Two-Hearted River" is almost exclusively descriptive and intentionally devoid of plot. Hemingway was influenced by the visual innovations of Cézanne's paintings and adapted the painter's idea of presenting background minutiae in lower focus than the main image; in this story, the small details of a fishing trip are explored in great depth, while the landscape setting, and most obviously the swamp, are given cursory attention.

Selected figure

1849 daguerreotype of Poe
Edgar Allan Poe (born Edgar Poe; January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American author, poet, editor, and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story, and is generally considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre. He is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction.He was the first well-known American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career.

His publishing career began with an anonymous collection of poems, Tamerlane and Other Poems (1827), credited only to "a Bostonian". Poe switched his focus to prose and spent the next several years working for literary journals and periodicals, becoming known for his own style of literary criticism, his work forced him to move among several cities, including Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City. In Baltimore in 1835, he married Virginia Clemm, his 13-year-old cousin; in January 1845 Poe published his poem, "The Raven", to instant success. His wife died of tuberculosis two years after its publication, for years, he had been planning to produce his own journal, The Penn (later renamed The Stylus), though he died before it could be produced.

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H. R. Millar - Rudyard Kipling - Puck of Pook's Hill 7.jpg
Credit: Harold Robert Millar

Puck of Pook's Hill is a fantasy book by Rudyard Kipling, published in 1906, containing a series of short stories set in different periods of English history. The stories are all narrated to two children living near Burwash by people magically plucked out of history by the elf Puck, or told by Puck himself, this illustration accompanied the chapter "The Knights of the Joyous Venture".

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Today in literature

22 September

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Concepts: Biographies · Books · Comics · Magazines · Manga · Novels · Poetry · Short stories · Translation studies
Genres: Alternate history · Children's literature · Crime · Fantasy · Horror · Mythology · Romance · Science fiction
Authors: Honoré de Balzac · Roald Dahl · William Shakespeare
Series: Artemis Fowl · Chronicles of Narnia · Discworld · Harry Potter · His Dark Materials · Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy · Inheritance Cycle · James Bond · King Arthur · Middle-earth · Percy Jackson · Redwall · A Series of Unfortunate Events · Shannara · Sherlock Holmes · A Song of Ice and Fire · Star Wars · Sword of Truth · Twilight · Warriors · Water Margin · Wizard of Oz
Regions: Australian literature · Indian literature · Persian literature

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