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.
The Autobiography of Malcolm X
was published in 1965, the result of a collaboration between human rights activist Malcolm X
and journalist Alex Haley
. Haley coauthored
the autobiography based on a series of in-depth interviews he conducted between 1963 and Malcolm X's 1965 assassination. The Autobiography
is a spiritual conversion narrative
that outlines Malcolm X's philosophy of black pride
, black nationalism
, and pan-Africanism
. After the death of his subject Haley authored the book's epilogue, which describes their collaboration and summarizes the end of Malcolm X's life.
While Malcolm X and scholars contemporary to the book's publication regarded Haley as the book's ghostwriter, modern scholars tend to regard him as an essential collaborator who intentionally muted his authorial voice to allow readers to feel as though Malcolm X were speaking directly to them. Haley also influenced some of Malcolm X's literary choices; for example, when Malcolm X left the Nation of Islam during the composition of the book, Haley persuaded him to favor a style of "suspense and drama" rather than rewriting earlier chapters into a polemic against the Nation. Furthermore, Haley's proactive censorship of the manuscript's antisemitic material significantly influenced the ideological tone of the Autobiography, increasing its commercial success and popularity although distorting Malcolm X's public persona.
Francis bin Fathallah bin Nasrallah Marrash
(June 1836 – 1873) was a Syrian
writer and poet of the Nahda
movement—the Arabic renaissance—and a physician. Most of his works revolve around science, history and religion, analysed under an epistemological
light. He travelled through the Middle East and France in his youth, and after some medical training and a year of practice in his native Aleppo
, during which he wrote several works, he enrolled in a medical school in Paris; yet, declining health and growing blindness forced him to return to Aleppo, where he produced more literary works until his early death.
Middle Eastern historian Matti Moosa considered Marrash to be the first truly cosmopolitan Arab intellectual and writer of modern times. Marrash adhered to the principles of the French Revolution and defended them in his own works, implicitly criticising Ottoman rule in the Middle East. He was also influential in introducing French romanticism in the Arab world, especially through his use of poetic prose and prose poetry, of which his writings were the first examples in modern Arabic literature, according to Salma Khadra Jayyusi and Shmuel Moreh. His modes of thinking and feeling, and ways of expressing them, have had a lasting influence on contemporary Arab thought and on the Mahjari poets.
|“ ||Don't laugh at the spinsters, dear girls, for often very tender, tragic romances are hidden away in the hearts that beat so quietly under the sober gowns, and many silent sacrifices of youth, health, ambition, love itself, make the faded faces beautiful in God’s sight. Even the sad, sour sisters should be kindly dealt with, because they have missed the sweetest part of life, if for no other reason. And looking at them with compassion, not contempt, girls in their bloom should remember that they too may miss the blossom time. That rosy cheeks don’t last forever, that silver threads will come in the bonnie brown hair, and that, by-and-by, kindness and respect will be as sweet as love and admiration now. ||” |
|— Louisa May Alcott, Little Women |
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Puck of Pook's Hill is a fantasy book by Rudyard Kipling, published in 1906, containing a series of short stories set in different periods of English history. The stories are all narrated to two children living near Burwash by people magically plucked out of history by the elf Puck, or told by Puck himself. This illustration accompanied the chapter "The Knights of the Joyous Venture".
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Today in literature
- 1821 - Nikolai Alekseevich Nekrasov, Russian poet born
- 1824 - George MacDonald, British writer born
- 1830 - Emily Dickinson, American poet born
- 1851 - Melvil Dewey, American librarian born
- 1870 - Pierre Louÿs, French author born
- 1891 - Nelly Sachs, German-born writer born
- 1907 - Rumer Godden, British writer born
- 1920 - Clarice Lispector, Ukrainian-Brazilian writer born
- 1936 - Luigi Pirandello, Italian writer died
- 1946 - Damon Runyon, American writer died
- 1951 - Algernon Blackwood, British writer died
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