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(Introduction to) Philippine Literature

What is literature?

1. It is the body of written works of a language, period, or culture.

2. It is marked by the use of figurative language—such as creative metaphors, well-turned phrases, elegant syntax, rhyme, alliteration, meter, and the like.

3. It is in a literary genre: poetry, prose fiction, drama, etc.

4. It is read aesthetically.

5. It is intended by the writer to be read aesthetically.

6. It contains many implications—which are open to the reader’s interpretation.

Qualities of literature

1. From the earliest of times, cultures have been defined by their literature, whose medium comprises language.

2. Literature falls into two categories:

a) utilitarian

b) creative

3. People read creative literature because they expect it to hold their interest a nd provide pleasure.

4. The formal divisions of literature are:

a) fiction

b) non-fiction

c) poetry

d) drama

Types of literature

I. Fiction—are works that emanate from the author’s imagination rather than from fact. It takes one of two approaches to its subject matter:

a) realistic—the appearance of observable, true-to-life details

b) non-realistic—fantasy

Fictional elements can appear in narrative poetry, drama, and even biography and epic poetry.

AI. Non-fiction—consists of works based mainly on fact rather than on the imagination, although non- fictional works may contain fictional elements.

Types of fiction

Fiction is divided into two categories:

A. Novel—is a prose narrative of considerable length, has a plot that unfolds from the actions, speech, and thoughts of the characters. They can be classified by subject matter:

1) epistolary

2) gothic pseudo-medieval

3) historical

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(Introduction to) Philippine Literature

4) manners

5) picaresque

6) psychological

7) sentimental

B. Short story—is a short prose work concerning only a single, significant episode/scene and utilizing a limited number of characters.

Types of non-fiction

Examples of non- fiction are:

A. Biography—undertakes a written account of an individual’s life using literary narratives, catalogues of achievement, or psychological portraits.

B. Essay—is a composition on a single subject, usually presenting the personal views of the writer. It may be:

1) informal—tend to be brief, conversational in tone, and loose in structure; topic is familiar (or personal)

2) formal—which are longer and tightly structured, focusing on impersonal subjects and places less emphasis on the personality of the writer

Types of poetry

III. Poetry—is written to convey a vivid and imaginative sense of experience, using condensed language selected for its sound, suggestive power, and meaning. It employs literary devices such as:

a) meter

b) rhyme

c) metaphor

Poetry can be divided into three types:

a) narrative—tells a story such as an epic poem, a ballad, or a metrical romance

b) dramatic—involves portraying a life/character usually involving conflicts and emotions through action and dialogue

c) lyric—is originally intended to be sung like a sonnet

Types of drama

IV. Drama—consists of a composition in prose or poetry intended to portray a life/character or to tell a story usually involving conflicts and emotions through action and dialogue. It is often intended for theatrical production. It can be classified as a:

a) tragedy—recounts the events of an individual’s life that results in an unhappy catas trophe

b) comedy—aims...
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