Literary and Cultural Texts and Traditions
“Literature is my Utopia.
Here I am not disenfranchised.
No barrier of the senses shuts me out from the sweet, gracious discourses of my book friends. They talk to me without embarrassment”.
~ Helen Keller ~
INTERACTIVE TABLE OF CONTENTS
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I. Literature - General Introduction
* Literary Genres and Culture
* Genres of Literature
* Review Questions
II. Literary Forms in Philippine Literature
* Pre-Colonial Times
* Literature under Spanish Rule
* Literature under American Colonial Rule
* Contemporary Period
* Review Questions
II. Epochal Development of Philippine Literature
* Pre-colonial Times
* Spanish Colonialism
* U. S. Colonialism
* Under the Republic (1946-1985)
* Review Questions
* After EDSA (1986-1995)
I. Literature – General Introduction
“Literature is my Utopia. Here I am not disenfranchised. No barrier of the senses shuts me out from the sweet, gracious discourses of my book friends. They talk to me without embarrassment or awkwardness” (Helen Keller, http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/literature.html#ixzz1kftJ7Jcw) Keller could not have been more correct in this insight about literature, and scarcely would anyone who has had a lifetime with the written word raise any issue about its faultlessness. Man with his complex, often unfathomable and unpredictable thoughts, feelings and actions, and many times restrained by societal norms from openly exposing what he has inside him, considers literature as a socially acceptable vehicle for unrestrained self-expression. Literature is life. It is a mirror of man’s desires and aspirations, his ambitions and accomplishments, his fears and anxiety, his joyful and fulfilling moments. Through it, he records his experiences of triumphs and downfalls, laughter and anguish, determination and indecision—from things phenomenal to matters mundane. It is only through literature that the human mind is able to successfully transcend all material barriers to reveal its essence which constitutes the “isness” of man’s being. Literature, then, is the totality of humanity. The famous French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre succinctly said it all in the following line: “If literature is not everything, it’s not worth a single hour of someone’s trouble” http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keyword/literature.html)
What is Literature?
▪ So broad and deep is the extent and scope of literature that putting up a definition for it is almost like limiting its parameters. However, for academic purposes, it will be relevant to explain what the concept encompasses. ▪ On a general perspective, anything that is written is classified as literature. ▪ On a stricter sense, however, and across cultures and ages, literature is associated with a poem, or a fiction article, or a stage play, a book or a classroom lesson. ▪ A literary article should interest, entertain, stimulate, broaden the imagination and experience, or ennoble the reader (Roberts 2). It springs as an idea from the need of its creator to get across a “personal vision”. The writer starts from an experience or set of experiences, real or imagined, which he thinks he needs to share with his public. Working on his creative tablet, he manipulates the facts of true-to-life happenings, or invents incidents, places, and characters and puts thoughts into their minds and words in their mouths. Or he may decide to compress an otherwise long factual or imagined story in a few metered or rhythmical lines. The result is an original text that satisfies its creator’s purpose-- a literary article, an imaginative literature. ▪ Kirszner & Mandell explain that the word...
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