The History of English Literature

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Chapter 1
What is Literature?
A.What is Literature?
Generally speaking, “literature” is used to describe anything from creative writing to more technical or scientific works, but the term is most commonly used to refer to works of the creative imagination, including works of poetry, drama, fiction, and nonfiction. Literature represents a people, culture, tradition and language. It shares great experiences. Through Literature, we can learn about poems, stories, and plays. When we discuss about Literature, we will not only discover the ultimate meaning of it but also an artistic quality to the works when we analyze a Literature.

B.What is English Literature?
According to Wikipedia, English literature is the literature written in the English language, including literature written in English by writers not necessarily from England; for example, Robert Burns was Scottish, James Joyce was Irish, Joseph Conrad was born in Poland, Dylan Thomas was Welsh, Edgar Allan Poe was American, V.S. Naipaul was born in Trinidad, and Vladimir Nabokov was Russian, but all are considered important writers in the history of English literature. In other words, English literature is as different as the varieties and dialects of English spoken around the world.

C. What is the difference between English Literature and American Literature?
English literature is known for its dry humor, emphasis on manners and differences between the classes, and stressing theme and style over plot and characterization. American literature is usually much more character-driven and plot-driven, and is often more realistic in its depictions of ordinary people in extraordinary situations.
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