Literature, most generically, is any body of written works. More restrictively, literature refers to writing considered to be an art form or any single writing deemed to have artistic or intellectual value, often due to deploying language in ways that differ from ordinary usage.
Its Latin root literatura/litteratura (derived itself from littera: letter or handwriting) was used to refer to all written accounts. The concept has changed meaning over time to include texts that are spoken or sung (oral literature), and non-written verbal art forms. Developments in print technology have allowed an ever-growing distribution and proliferation of written works, culminating in electronic literature.
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
is a 1974 nonfiction
narrative book by American author Annie Dillard
. Told from a first-person point of view, the book details an unnamed narrator's explorations near her home, and various contemplations on nature and life. The title refers to Tinker Creek
, which is outside Roanoke
's Blue Ridge Mountains
. Dillard began writing Pilgrim
in the spring of 1973, using her personal journals as inspiration. Separated into four sections that signify each of the seasons, the narrative takes place over the period of one year.
The book records the narrator's thoughts on solitude, writing, and religion, as well as scientific observations on the flora and fauna she encounters. Touching upon themes of faith, nature, and awareness, Pilgrim is also noted for its study of theodicy and the inherent cruelty of the natural world. The author has described it as a "book of theology", and she rejects the label of nature writer. Dillard considers the story a "single sustained nonfiction narrative", although several chapters have been anthologized separately in magazines and other publications. The book is analogous in design and genre to Henry David Thoreau's Walden (1854), the subject of Dillard's master's thesis at Hollins College. Critics often compare Dillard to authors from the Transcendentalist movement; Edward Abbey in particular deemed her Thoreau's "true heir".
(7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941) was a Bengali polymath
who reshaped his region's literature
. Author of Gitanjali
and its "profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse", he became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature
in 1913. In translation his poetry was viewed as spiritual and mercurial; however, his "elegant prose and magical poetry" remain largely unknown outside Bengal. Tagore introduced new prose and verse forms and the use of colloquial language into Bengali literature
, thereby freeing it from traditional models based on classical Sanskrit
. He was highly influential in introducing the best of Indian culture to the West and vice versa, and he is generally regarded as the outstanding creative artist of modern South Asia.
Tagore modernised Bengali art by spurning rigid classical forms and resisting linguistic strictures. His novels, stories, songs, dance-dramas, and essays spoke to topics political and personal. Gitanjali (Song Offerings), Gora (Fair-Faced) and Ghare-Baire (The Home and the World) are his best-known works, and his verse, short stories, and novels were acclaimed—or panned—for their lyricism, colloquialism, naturalism, and unnatural contemplation. His compositions were chosen by two nations as national anthems: India's Jana Gana Mana and Bangladesh's Amar Shonar Bangla.
||It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
|— Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
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"Auld Lang Syne" is a Scots poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song (Roud # 6294). It is well known in many countries, especially in the English-speaking world, its traditional use being to celebrate the start of the New Year at the stroke of midnight. This illustration accompanied an 1841 printing of the poem.
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Today in literature
- 70 BC - Virgil, Roman poet born
- 1686 - Allan Ramsay, Scottish poet born
- 1764 - Edward Gibbon observes a group of friars singing in the ruined Temple of Jupiter in Rome, which inspires him to begin work on The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
- 1814 - Mikhail Lermontov, Russian author born
- 1837 - Ivan Dmitriev, Russian statesman and poet died
- 1844 - Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher born
- 1881 - P. G. Wodehouse, British novelist born
- 1891 - Gilbert Arthur a Beckett, English writer died
- 1905 - C. P. Snow, British writer born
- 1920 - Mario Puzo, American novelist (The Godfather) born
- 1923 - Italo Calvino, Italian writer born
- 1926 - Evan Hunter, American author born
- 1930 - FM-2030, philosopher born
- 1954 - Peter Bakowski, Australian poet born
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