Musings on Literature

When did the History of Literature begin? When man the nomad and hunter began to lead a settled life of cultivation, he had ample leisure time. We have to assume that the art of storytelling began than. It is hard to discriminate between religious-texts and fables. With the introduction of writing, storytelling took a new turn. Early day storytelling was filled with myth making. Examples of these are Greek and Roman legends who invented Gods and Goddesses as having supernatural qualities, and also very surprising is the fact they had an abundance of vices. The Gods and Goddesses of Greece and Rome were self indulgent sybarites and epicureans devoted to a life of pleasure. Along with the development of Storytelling, we find that ancient Greece contributed to the development of rhetorical devices and the most prominent of them being the metaphor and the simile. It is a mystery to know how these forms of literature have developed. Aristotle said: ‘the invention of the metaphor is the work of a genius’. How did these forms develop? They developed due to a collision between language and emotion. When language killed emotion, the stoic mind sought a catharsis in figures of speech. In the postmodern era, many of the tropes that are commonly used have become clichés.