Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: The definition of literature

From: Michael Robison (
Date: 04 Nov 2007


To say that one kind of writing is literature and another is not is whole other kind of judgment, one in which quality has no real bearing.

************ The quality which has a bearing on whether writing becomes literature is that of endurance. It has to have something in it that resonates down through the ages, leaving the period pieces to gather dust on the shelf. What determines this staying power is a prime question of interest in the study of literature.

My analogy stands. The parallel between genius in people and endurance in literature is that they are both generally considered favorable attributes in their groups. To complain that calling some writing literature is dismissive to other writing is the same as complaining that calling some people geniuses is dismiss to other people.


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