Literature and its artistic expression ✓

Literature and its artistic expression. We explain what literature is and how this artistic expression arises. Brief historical Review, which are the literary genres.

Hat is literature?

The literature is considered by the Royal Spanish Academy as an artistic expression. Which is based on the use of language, in fact. We could say it’s almost any written document. It is also the science that studies the literary works and a subject that is taught in colleges or universities.

Literature is a discipline that uses language in an aesthetic way. The term literature comes from the word latínlitterae. That refers to the accumulation of knowledge that guide us to the correct way of writing and reading. There are some definitions that state that in addition to the writing. Literature is in what is sung or spoken.

It is also considered as literature to the set of books that speak on a specific topic. They are from a certain time or a particular genre. What makes a text literary. That is, what makes it or turns it into literature. is the Literaturidad. That is in the use that is made of language in that type of text. This type of language has a particular transcendence because it is destined to last in time.

Literature the language in an aesthetic way.

History of Literature

We can say that literature started when printing was invented. (from the Hand of Johannes Gutenberg) in the 15th century and began to spread the written word. Later, in the 17th century. literature was called poetry or eloquence. Then it was understood by poetry any text, regardless of its gender and not necessarily in verse.

Only in the eighteenth century was the word literature used for the first time with the current meaning. In any case, there is a doubt as to what literature can or should not be considered because there are types of texts that seem to not pigeonhole in any genre. for example, an autobiography or a news story.

In England, in the eighteenth century. It was questioned what came into the concept of literature and what not. Basically, it was considered by the writings produced by those who belonged to the literate class, instructed. There were letters, essays, philosophical texts and poetry in the English literature of that moment. But texts like novels had a bad reputation and therefore did not come into consideration. Terry Eagleton defines that then criteria to label rather as literature. Or they were not ideological and went according to the values and tastes of the ruling class.

For Roland Barthes, literature is not a set of works or a category. But rather it is the practice of writing. Wolfgang Kayser planned, in the mid-twentieth century, to make a change in the term literature. Using instead belles lettres” so that the written text of speech can be differentiated.
It would be important to mark that it is not considered as literature to the writings based on drawings. Like the hieroglyphics of the Egyptians.

Literary genres

Literature has genres. Or are types in which the sets of books are classified according to the content of the works. These are called literary genres. Each literary genre is characterized by different semantic aspects. or phonological.

There are three large classifications and each one has sub-genera.

Lyrical genre, developed by writers such as Federico García Lorca. These are texts that are assigned a certain rhythm. So within which there are, among others. The hymn, the Ode, the Eclogue, the satire, etc.

Epic or narrative genre, in which Miguel de Cervantes is located. Which is to tell a story not true. Within this genre we have the epic, the songs of Gesta, the story and the novel.

Dramatic genre, which is a text whose purpose is to act can be tragedy, comedy, etcetera. A writer of this literary genre is Pedro Calderón de la Barca.

Literature the language in an aesthetic way.

Universal literature

Universal literature is part of all. Since the invention of the alphabet the history, the customs. The messages and the culture began to be transmitted also in written form. (Although we must clarify that until the Middle Ages the oral culture lasted).

When we talk about universal literature, we refer to those writings. That belong to a particular region, but that we consider them as of all humanity. Or at least you think that everybody should have knowledge of them. As is the case with the book The Odyssey of Homer or Don Quixote of the stain of Miguel de Cervantes.

By the hand of the capitalist system. Literature has become one of the largest cultural industries. Because books are produced in series, and in a way culture is also produced. That is why the best sellers were born, that is to say, the most sold. With this title is labeled the most successful books in terms of sales or criticisms received.

It is understood by literary criticism to the discipline that is dedicated to study and to valorize a text either positively or negatively. The valuation of this critic is disseminated by the media.

Today literature has revolutionized with the advent of virtual books. Then the practice situation is uncertain. Because buying ebooks is cheaper and at the same time you read less.
The literature has its greatest distinction in the Nobel Prize. and the first award of this kind was awarded to Sully Prudhomme, poet and essayist of French origin.

Literary text

We explain what is a literary text, its history and the expressive resources it uses. In addition, its classification and characteristics

What is a literary text?

When we talk about a literary text we refer to a form of oral or written production. That focuses its attention on the aesthetic, poetic and playful forms of language. Above the actual, informative, or objective content of the message.

The literary texts offer to the reader subjective, free approaches, of reflective content of experiential or contemplative life, without the courage to arouse that set of emotions and sensations in his spirit.

For this, these artistic texts employ a whole range of expressive resources. Known as tropes, rhetorical figures or literary figures. Through which they can use the language more powerfully. More touching or even more rhythmic.
In Ancient Greece, the literary cradle of the West. The first literary analysis of the history was made (Aristotle’s Poetics) and the place occupied by the then genres was detailed. Dramatic, epic and lyrical.

Through them the Greek citizens were emotionally and civically formed. Transmitting political, religious and moral values. Many of the texts of that time still survive among us.

Nowadays, however, reading literary texts is considered a leisure and recreation activity. or training in high culture or fine arts. But because of its deep human content. It occupies a central place in the imaginary of the human being. And there are constant winks in other culture speeches that use literature to better express their content, as is the case of psychoanalysis.

Literature the language in an aesthetic way.

Characteristics of a literary text

A literary text, roughly speaking. Presents the following features.

It lacks practical purpose or immediate usefulness,It uses the language of unconventional, daring or avant-garde forms.
It tells events that didn’t happen. Or even real events, but from fictional, impossible or novel perspectives.
It expresses deep subjective or philosophical contents.
It has a specific extension and a concrete, immovable endpoint.
They do not change in time, but are historically preserved.

Types of literary texts

Literary texts are classified according to four genres, called literary genres. That classify them based on methods. That they have to arouse in the reader an aesthetic or playful effect, and that are the following.


When we talk about narrative we talk about short story. Novel, Microtale. Chronicle and other forms of the story, real or imaginary, fantastic or realistic. They emphasize the characters. In the plot and especially in the figure of the narrator, who tells the story. Generating the reader expectations, tension and similar emotions.


The freest and most complex of literary arts, has virtually no specific format that defines it. Except the idea of describing a subjective state of being. Feelings, life prospects. Reflections or even some degree of narration. But no defined characters, narrators or plots. It’s about creating a language of its own. That formerly had to have rhymes and verses accounted for by syllables. But this practice is considered archaic nowadays.


The dramatic is intended for its representation in theatre, cinema or television. It includes characters and scenarios. In situations that are occurring in front of the spectator himself. Without being mediatizadas by the figure of a narrator at all.


This genre consists of the reflective and explanatory approach (expository and argumentative). of any topic that interests the author. Through an exhibition exercise that seeks to offer subjective viewpoints and novel perspectives. Rather than scientifically proving a hypothesis or proving some theory.

Literary text and non-literary text

The literary texts are distinguished from the non-literary ones in a fundamental aspect, their usefulness. Although art is important, transcendent and valued. It really lacks any practical usefulness. A literary text is useless, you can not use it but as what is a reading. Something that takes time to get a subjective experience.

Non-literary texts, however. They are all those who are operating in the world with a clear and obvious sense of usefulness. Instructions for using a washing machine. Phone messages annotated in a notebook, billboard, etc.


We explain what the narrative is and what are the elements that a story should have. In addition, narrative as a literary genre.

What is narration?

Narration is an account of real or fictional facts, that is, imaginary. That are carried out by characters within a delimited context (space and time).

A narrative is not necessarily a fictional story, by telling something that happened to us or will happen to us. Or a dream we’ve had, etcetera, we’re narrating. Every day the human being reads and hears narrations at all times when he goes to school, to work, when he talks to someone on the street. It is not necessary to read a novel to read a narrative.

Literature the language in an aesthetic way.
What are its elements?


In the first place, a narration needs a narrator, a person who tells, who tells the story. The narrator will be the one to present the facts and the characters. You can relate a story in the first person as the protagonist or witness of the story. or write in third person, referring to another character outside of him. If the narrator is omniscient, he knows all the characters feel and think.


Then, we have the characters, that is, the beings who live the situations of history. Characters can be people but also animals or animated or inanimate objects. The characters usually have a certain personality, which is called character. In a story we will find one or several characters that respond to the category of main characters or protagonists. Usually one stands out from the rest. Other characters will be secondary. On many occasions a character appears that has characteristics opposite to the protagonist. Which is called an antagonist (which is usually an evil person).


Finally, it is necessary to narre one or more actions. Facts that happen to the characters.


A narrative is also composed of a plot, i.e. the story itself. And a frame, contextualizing the plot. indicating the time and space of the narration. The plot of a narrative is divided, in turn, into.

Introduction: It is the initial event, the first fact that triggers the story narrated.

Knot: It can be divided into reaction and action, it is the way in which the central part of the plot develops, where the main actions and conflicts take place.

Outcome: It is often brief and ends people’s actions. The end of a story can be opened.

Dialogues: Also, a story has dialogues, i.e. conversations between the characters.

Descriptions: They help us to imagine the situations.

Narrative as a literary genre

When we talk about a narrative text we refer to the primacy of literary plots. Within the text in question. It differs from that genre of lyrical (where verse and rhyme are paramount). And drama or dramatic genre, where the dialogue of the characters prevails. In these two genres the figure of the narrator does not appear.
A narrative text can respond to different subgenres being the novel the most extensive form and the Microrrelato the shortest.

Novel, Nouvelle, Long story and story, short story and short story, Microrrelato.