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    Literature

    With the development of language, the human imagination has found a way to create and communicate through the written word. A literary work can transport us into a fictional, fantastic new world, describe a fleeting feeling, or simply give us a picture of the past through novels, poems, tragedies, epic works, and other genres. Through literature, communication becomes an art, and it can bridge and bond people and cultures of different languages and backgrounds.
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    Featured content, June 19, 2021

    Why Do We Say “A Pair of Pants”?
    Well, there are more than a pair of answers.
    Demystified / Literature
    jeans, denim, pants, clothing
    What did Sir Walter Scott write?
    What did Sir Walter Scott write?
    Companion / Literature
    Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet, Scottish historical novelist and poet, 1870. Portrait of Scott author of Ivanhoe. Scotland
    All the World’s a Stage: 6 Places in Shakespeare, Then and Now
    Tour with the Bard from Denmark to Egypt.
    List / Literature
    Scene from the motion picture "Romeo and Juliet" with Olivia Hussey (Juliet) and Leonard Whiting (Romeo), 1968; directed by Franco Zeffirelli.
    The Bizarre Origins of the Words Nerd and Geek
    On the nature of nerdiness…or geekiness.
    #WTFact / Literature
    Student girl writing formulas on transparent wall
    Southeast Asian arts
    Southeast Asian arts, the literary, performing, and visual arts of Southeast Asia. Although the cultural development of the...
    Encyclopedia / Literature
    Fresco of the Preaching Buddha at the Wet-kyi-in, Gu-byauk-gyi, Pagan, c. 1113.
    Latin literature
    Latin literature, the body of writings in Latin, primarily produced during the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, when...
    Encyclopedia / Literature
    Dramatic literature
    Dramatic literature, the texts of plays that can be read, as distinct from being seen and heard in performance. The term...
    Encyclopedia / Literature
    Mutter Courage und ihre Kinder (Mother Courage and Her Children)
    Russian literature
    Russian literature, the body of written works produced in the Russian language, beginning with the Christianization of Kievan...
    Encyclopedia / Literature
    Pushkin, Aleksandr Sergeyevich

    Literature Quizzes

    Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) portrait by Carl Van Vecht April 3, 1938. Writer, folklorist and anthropologist celebrated African American culture of the rural South.
    Writers of the Harlem Renaissance
    How much do you know about the writers of the Harlem Renaissance? Test your knowledge with this quiz.
    Scene from the silent motion picture "Romeo and Juliet" with Francis X. Bushman (Romeo) and Beverly Bayne (Juliet), 1916. Directed by Francis X. Bushman and John W. Noble.
    Romeo and Juliet
    Wherefore art thou Romeo? Think you know all about this famous love story? Test your knowledge with this quiz.
    Book Jacket of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by American children's author illustrator Eric Carle (born 1929)
    Classic Children’s Books
    Do you remember the classic books of your childhood, or do you read them to your kids or students now? See how well you know...
    Miguel de Cervantes. Don Quixote. Miguel de Cervantes Spanish novelist, poet and playwright, author of Don Quixote. Engraving from 1843 by E.Mackenzie and published in London by Charles Knight, Ludgate Street.
    Cervantes
    Miguel de Cervantes is much more than Spain's most famous novelist. Test what you know about him with this quiz.
    Emily Dickinson, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing right
    Emily Dickinson
    How much do you know about Emily Dickinson? Test your knowledge with this quiz.
    Magazines on display in a store in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. There are more than 1300 English and French magazines that are published in Canada.
    Magazines: Fact or Fiction?
    Test your knowledge of magazines with this fact-or-fiction quiz about the magazine industry’s history.
    American author Toni Morrison, 2009. (Nobel Prize for Literature 1993)
    Nobel Laureates in Literature
    Are you a Nobel know-it-all? Match the Nobel laureates in literature to the year they earned the award!
    Emily Bronte from a painting of a family group by Branwell Bronte. ca 1820-1848
    The Bront? Sisters
    Think you know Charlotte, Anne, and Emily Bront?, the trio behind some of the greatest Victorian novels? Take this Bront?...
    Undated photograph of Russian author Leo Tolstoy.
    Russian Literature
    Do you think you know about Russian literature? Test your knowledge with this quiz.
    Abstract question-mark background on black, punctuation, grammar
    Punctuation
    How do you use the Oxford comma? What’s the difference between an en dash and an em dash? How do you use ellipses? Test your...
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    Literature Subcategories

    subcategory placeholder Folk Literature & Fable
    Step into the world of folklore, fables, legends, tall tales, and epics, in which heroes are known to undertake arduous journeys and dragons, fairies, and giants abound. Stories such as these circulated long before systems of writing were developed; ballads, folktales, poems, and the like were transmitted exclusively by word of mouth before written languages took over, and they continue to captivate listeners and readers to this day.
    Articles
    Fantastic Four Fictional Characters
    Here you'll find some of your favorite fictional characters from literature, film, television, and the like, whether it's the analytical mastermind Sherlock Holmes and his endearing associate Dr. Watson or the menacing and helmeted Darth Vader, the ill-tempered Donald Duck or the teenage sleuth Nancy Drew.
    Articles
    subcategory placeholder Journalism
    Extra, extra! Although the content and style of journalism and the medium through which it is delivered have varied significantly over the years, journalism has always given us a way to keep up with current events, so that we always have our fingers on the pulse.
    Articles
    Edward O. Wilson Libraries & Reference Works
    Looking to impress your friends with your expansive knowledge of historical events, philosophical concepts, obscure words, and more? We may be biased, but it seems fair enough to say that reference works such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, and textbooks have provided such a service for years (in some cases, hundreds or even thousands of years). You can look for them at your local public library, which likely stores books, manuscripts, journals, CDs, movies, and other sources of information and entertainment.
    Articles
    wine bottle Literatures of the World
    Literature knows no geographical bounds; authors can be found in nearly all corners of the globe (except, perhaps, on the open sea). Find out more about regional literary styles and forms.
    Articles
    subcategory placeholder Literary Criticism
    Everyone's a critic. But not all literary criticism involves judging the quality of a text; it can also focus on interpreting the meaning of a work or evaluating an author's place in literary history.
    Articles
    To the Lighthouse Literary Terms
    This general category includes a selection of more specific topics.
    Articles
    subcategory placeholder Nonfiction
    The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth! Nonfiction works are all about facts and real events. Although there is some debate about which kinds of literature qualify as nonfiction, the genre typically includes books in the categories of biography, memoir, science, history, self-help, cooking, health and fitness, business, and more.
    Articles
    The War of the Worlds Novels & Short Stories
    Whether it's "Don Quixote," "Pride and Prejudice," "The Great Gatsby," or "The Fall of the House of Usher," novels and short stories have been enchanting and transporting readers for a great many years. There's a little something for everyone: within these two genres of literature, a wealth of types and styles can be found, including historical, epistolary, romantic, Gothic, and realist works, along with many more.
    Articles
    Justus of Ghent: Saint Augustine Oratory
    "I have a dream..." "Four score and seven years ago..." It's not a fluke that these phrases came to be so widely known and remembered. Truly great and persuasive speeches elicit strong emotional reactions in their audiences and may have broad historical repercussions. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech and Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, quoted above, are two iconic examples of successful oratory, as are Elizabeth I's speech to the troops at Tilbury and Winston Churchill's first speech as prime minister to the House of Commons.
    Articles
    Hamlet Plays
    All the world's a stage, as Shakespeare put it in "As You Like It"; and the stage is where you'll find performances of works by such famed playwrights as Anton Chekhov, Eugene O'Neill, and the Bard himself, among many others.
    Articles
    subcategory placeholder Poetry
    Poetry is a vast subject that encompasses much more than just your average "Roses are red, violets are blue" poem. Delve into the category of literature that Percy Bysshe Shelley called "a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted," and which includes sonnets, haikus, nursery rhymes, epics, and more.
    Articles
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