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In: English and Literature

Submitted By Kjpo
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This article is about the art of written work. For the card game, see Literature (card game). This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. (October 2013)
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Major forms

Novel Poem Drama

Short story Novella


Comedy Drama Epic

Erotic Nonsense Lyric

Mythopoeia Romance Satire

Tragedy Tragicomedy


Performance (play) Book


Prose Poetry

History and lists

Outline of literature

Glossary of terms

History (modern)

Books Writers

Literary / Poetry awards


Criticism Theory

Sociology Magazines

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Literature (from Latin litterae (plural); letter) is the art of written work. The word literature literally means: "things made from letters". Literature is commonly classified as having two major forms—fiction and non-fiction—and two major techniques—poetry and prose.

Literature may consist of texts based on factual information (journalistic or non-fiction), a category that may also include polemical works, biography, 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.

Important historical periods in English literature include Old English, Middle English, the Renaissance, the Elizabethan era of the 16th century (which includes the Shakespearean era), the 17th Century Restoration period, the 18th century Age of Enlightenment, the Romanticism of the early 19th century, the later 19th Century Victorian, and 20th Century Modernism and Post-modernism. Important intellectual movements that have influenced the study of literature include feminism, post-colonialism, psychoanalysis, post-structuralism, post-modernism, romanticism, and Marxism.

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