The Value of Literary Studies

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The Value of Literary Studies Literature is a body of written works, wherein the name is often applied to those imaginative works of poetry and prose distinguished by the intentions of their authors and the excellence of their execution. Literature may be classified according to a variety of systems, including language, national origin, historical period, genre, and subject matter. The current meaning generally attached to the term literature--a body of writing by a people or by peoples using the same language is a relatively modern one. The term itself, derived from the Latin word littera ("letter of the alphabet"; litterae, "letters"), is ancient enough; but in ancient times literature tended to be considered separately in terms of kinds of writing, or genres as they came to be called in the 18th century when the term literature took on its modern meaning. In preliterate societies oral literature was widely shared; it saturated the society and was as much a part of living as food, clothing, shelter, or religion. In barbaric societies, the minstrel might be a courtier of the king or chieftain, and the poet who composed liturgies might be a priest. But the oral performance itself was accessible to the whole community. As society evolved its various social layers, or classes, an "elite" literature began to be distinguishable from the "folk" literature of the people. With the invention of writing this separation was accelerated until finally literature was being experienced individually by the elite (reading a book), while folklore and folk song were experienced orally and more or less collectively by the illiterate common people. From this alone, it is already evident that a class-divided society did exist during those time... ... middle of paper ... ...flux of life to delight and comfort us, and since being exposed to and engaging in literature is a contemplative activity, it helps us reflect and think about certain issues of life and nature, to the point that it makes us discover our truly and genuine prismatic humanity. And I believe that literature is very important in Filipino university like the Ateneo because literature grounds us to that basic rootedness in our culture and humanity. That just as much as mundane concerns are important to us, the values that literatures teaches and the realizations that it makes us see are of equal importance too, that is why we should not take literature for granted and deem it to be just another burden. In appreciating literature, we appreciate life itself with all its beauty and splendour, with all its wonders and mysteries that we can only learn by valuing literature.
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