Probing into the meaning of literature is an interesting thing. I have classified the meaning of Literature as Art, Life, Culture and Philosophy.
Literature as Art
Literature as Art resembles a painting. The tropes or figures of speech used in the literary language ornament it. Literature as art belongs to the realm of aesthetic appreciation. Art of Literature uses various literary devices like Metaphors, Similes, Puns, Parables, Hyperboles, Allusions, Allegories, hyperbole, rhetorical question, Metonymy, Zeugma, Oxymoron, Fables and many more.
When it comes to life, what is literature? What does literature do? Life of Literature is a character sketch. Character is the revelation of biography and autobiography. Character also includes the plot of the novel or the mystery hidden in the novel.
How can literature become culture? Looking at literature from the cultural point of view, we have to take a plunge into structuralism. Structuralist thought divides all language into signs. A sign consists of the signifier (a visual tangible element) and the signified (an idea). When we say Rose is love, we mean that Rose is the signifier and love the signified. A writer will write culture into signs. As culture, literature also dwells on the socio-cultural institutions.
How can we look at literature from the philosophical point of view? Philosophy of the novel contains ideas in the novel. For example: in Camus’ Myth of the Sisyphus, we find that Sisyphus is condemned by the Gods to roll a boulder all the uphill, only to find it rolls down again. What Camus meant was life is chaotic and absurd. The literature of Camus paved the way for the philosophy of existentialism.
Go cook and eat it is a Malayalam Idiom meaning I am fed up of you. Yes, Go Cook and Eat it.
Morning mushroomed with a canopy of colors—little hymns made divine music—all is beautiful with me. I thank God Jehovah Jesus for his abundant blessings.
It is wonderful to think of how words acquire new cultural meanings with spread of the internet and globalization. A good example of that will be viral, selfie and web.
I am pondering on the art of writing. What could it be? Writing is primarily a narrative. In olden days dissemination was oral. Then there started the writing of texts. There are two types of writing. They are readable writing and interpretative writing.
Readable writing can also be called primary writing. It can be factual or literary. Readable writing is found in discourses like Philosophy, Math and Sciences are examples. Readable writing being literary can be a good story either in speech or in writing. Novels, Poetry, Drama, Films all belong to this genre.
Interpretative writing can be cultural, literary and philosophical. Let me use an example. Let me take the thoughts of structural and post-structural Philosophers.
Let me use an example to understand interpretative reading. Saussure is a famous structural Philosopher who introduced the Sign in Language. All language is made up of Signs. A sign is made up of the signifier and the Signified. A signifier is a visual tangible thing. A signified is an idea. For example if I say dove is peace, dove is the signifier and peace the signified. Then Roland Barthes who used the structuralist Sign to analyze fashions and culture. Philosophically speaking the sign was put into deconstruction by the philosopher Derrida. Deconstruction examines how signs privilege and marginalize people in texts. From Derrida I have developed a new idea of Philosophy called Binary Fusion. Binary Fusion is a text that does not marginalize or privilege anyone.