Perhaps there is no cultural heritage and historical force as rich, powerful, provoking and encompassing as literature. In as much, it is enduringly-valuable to civilization which conveys thoughts and emotions necessary for the growth of an individual and nation. This introduces you to what literatures of the world is all about. It also covers literary genre and period as well as literary works turned into movies and television series.
The literary genre entails the two main divisions of literature and its sub-categories which needs careful attention to details. The literary period retells history up to contemporary period and its important features and corresponding writers. Veritably, literary devices discuss the basis for analyzing a literary piece be it prose or poetry. Literary works turned into movies and television series represent faithful reproduction of the original text executed into harmonious and insightful way. Truly so, all of those elements re-state the soul-shaking value of literature that concretizes man’s thoughts and emotions and immortalizes nation’s struggles and victories.
Literature is a term used to describe written or spoken material. Literally, it means “things made from letters” and thus, it is constituted by writings that represents language of people, culture and tradition. It is the history of the human soul which is evoked in the written works of various authors.
As a discipline, literature possesses special and distinct qualities that separate it from other studies. In order to judge or critic a literary work as a masterpiece, the following criteria should be considered:
1. Universality appeals to everyone regardless of race, sex and time that can be considered important by every reader from east to west and from young to old.
• e.g. A Thousand and One Nights, Trojan War, Iliad and Odyssey,
Romeo and Juliet
2. Permanence endures the test of time wherein it contains timeliness and timelessness. It does not face out in the page of history and still offers the beauty of language and conserves country’s legends and folktales.
• e.g. Ramayana, Mahabharata, Song of Roland, Nibelungenlied,
El Cid, Beowulf, Florante at Laura, Ibong Adarna
3. Spiritual Value elevates man’s spirituality by giving moral values and inspires him to be a better and mature individual.
• e.g. The Analects, The Prophet, The Rubaiyat, Divine Comedy,
God Sees the Truth but Waits
4. Intellectual Value stimulates critical and logical thinking through the basic truths of life and human nature.
• e.g. Don Quixote, short stories of Edgar Allan Poe, Essay on Man,
Of Studies, Noli Me Tangere, El Filibusterismo
5. Suggestiveness stirs man’s emotional aspect through the literary devices used in prose and poetry.
• e.g. sonnets of Shakespeare, How Do I Love Thee, Invictus
The Road Not Taken, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
6. Artistry and Style are marked by great ways of writing styles. They pertain to aesthetics wherein they awaken the sense of beauty of anyone who reads the literary work.
• e.g. poems of Emily Dickinson and e.e. Cummings and
plays of Shakespeare
The Importance of Studying Philippine Literature
We cannot dicotomize history from literature because they are not separate from one another. Philippine literature is the reflection of history in a given point in time and both are intricately-intertwined along with each other. It gives us facts and ideas of the culture and tradition of our ancestors that we may not have known before. In effect, it helps us in historicizing texts that are products of ideological and political institutions which are shaped by social conditions. For this reason, Philippine literature renders us the rich and meaningful landscape of literary milieu that makes us proud to be part of Filipino heritage. Without further adieu, let us have a brief encounter with our own Filipino writers!