Part I – The Historical Background of Philippine Literature
Chapter 1 Introduction to the Study of Literature
Definition of Literature: The word literature is derived from the Latin term litera which means letter. It has been defined differently by various writers. Some loosely interpret literature as any printed matter written within a book, a magazine or a pamphlet. Others define literature as a faithful reproduction of man’s manifold experiences blended into one harmonious expression. Because literature deals with ideas, thoughts and emotions of man, literature can be said to be the story of man. Man’s loves, griefs, thoughts, dreams and aspirations coached in beautiful language is literature.
In order to know the history of a nation’s spirit, one must read its literature. Hence it is, that to understand the real spirit of a nation, one must “trace the little rills as they course along down the ages, broadening and deepening into the great ocean of thought which men of the present source are presently exploring.” Brother Azurin, said that “literature expresses the feelings of people to society, to the government, to his surroundings, to his fellowmen and to his Divine Creator.” The expression of one’s feelings, according to him, may be through love, sorrow, happiness, hatred, anger, pity, contempt, or revenge.
For Webster, literature is anything that is printed, as long as it is related to the ideas and feelings of people, whether it is true, or just a product of one’s imagination. In PANITIKING PILIPINO written by Atienza, Ramos, Salazar and Nazal, it says that “true literature is a piece of written work which is undying. It expresses the feelings and emotions of people in response to his everyday efforts to live, to be happy n his environment and, after struggles, to reach his Creator.”
Why We Need to Study Philippine Literature We can enumerate many reasons for studying literature. Here are but a few: We study...