RARA-AVIS: Literature M-W definition.

From: Jack Bludis ( buildsnburns@yahoo.com)
Date: 02 Nov 2007

Many here want to stop at the semicolon in M-W.Com's definition of literature. It's what comes after the semicolon that many of us argue--and by the way it's M-W's definition number 3 after one that is archaic and another that tells virtually nothing:

Definition 3a: writings in prose or verse; esp. : writings having excellence of form or expression and expressing ideas of permanent and universal interest.

I think it's that last part that me, Miker and others on the list hang our hats on, although I have to admit that my personal definition is even tighter than that.

I think that Hammett and Chandler hang pretty well with that caveat. I think we need a little more time to determine if Spillane is literature, although my current thinking is that in spite of the negatives about his writing, I think it may be, in the longer run, literature.

Jack Bludis

http://crimespace.ning.com/profile/JackBludis http://jackbludis.com/ Recent Story at http://backalleywebzine.com/

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