Portal:Literature

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The Literature Portal

Introduction

Literature is any collection of written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose, fiction, drama, poetry, and including both print and digital writing. In recent centuries, the definition has expanded to include oral literature, much of which has been transcribed. Literature is a method of recording, preserving, and transmitting knowledge and entertainment, and can also have a social, psychological, spiritual, or political role.

Literature, as an art form, can also include works in various non-fiction genres, such as biography, diaries, memoir, letters, and essays. Within its broad definition, literature includes non-fictional books, articles or other written information on a particular subject. (Full article...)

The following are images from various literature-related articles on Wikipedia.

Selected work

Featured articles are displayed here, which represent some of the best content on English Wikipedia.

1899 illustration for "To Autumn" by William James Neatby
"To Autumn" is a poem by English Romantic poet John Keats. The work was composed on 19 September 1819 and published in 1820 in a volume of Keats's poetry that included Lamia and The Eve of St. Agnes. "To Autumn" is the final work in a group of poems known as Keats's "1819 odes". Although personal problems left him little time to devote to poetry in 1819, he composed "To Autumn" after a walk near Winchester one autumnal evening. The work marks the end of his poetic career, as he needed to earn money and could no longer devote himself to the lifestyle of a poet. A little over a year following the publication of "To Autumn", Keats died in Rome.

The poem has three eleven-line stanzas which describe a progression through the season, from the late maturation of the crops to the harvest and to the last days of autumn when winter is nearing. The imagery is richly achieved through the personification of Autumn, and the description of its bounty, its sights and sounds. The work has been interpreted as a meditation on death; as an allegory of artistic creation; as Keats's response to the Peterloo Massacre, which took place in the same year; and as an expression of nationalist sentiment. One of the most anthologised English lyric poems, "To Autumn" has been regarded by critics as one of the most perfect short poems in the English language.

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  • Image 1 Lie, c. 1900 Lie Kim Hok (Chinese: 李金福; pinyin: Lǐ Jīnfú; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Lì Kim-hok; 1 November 1853 – 6 May 1912) was a peranakan Chinese teacher, writer, and social worker active in the Dutch East Indies and styled the "father of Chinese Malay literature". Born in Buitenzorg (now Bogor), West Java, Lie received his formal education in missionary schools and by the 1870s was fluent in Sundanese, vernacular Malay, and Dutch, though he was unable to understand Chinese. In the mid-1870s he married and began working as the editor of two periodicals published by his teacher and mentor D. J. van der Linden. Lie left the position in 1880. His wife died the following year. Lie published his first books, including the critically acclaimed syair (poem) Sair Tjerita Siti Akbari and grammar book Malajoe Batawi, in 1884. When van der Linden died the following year, Lie purchased the printing press and opened his own company. Over the following two years Lie published numerous books, including Tjhit Liap Seng, considered the first Chinese Malay novel. He also acquired printing rights for Pembrita Betawi, a newspaper based in Batavia (now Jakarta), and moved to the city. After selling his printing press in 1887, the writer spent three years working in various lines of employment until he found stability in 1890 at a rice mill operated by a friend. The following year he married Tan Sioe Nio, with whom he had four children. Lie published two books in the 1890s and, in 1900, became a founding member of the Chinese organisation Tiong Hoa Hwee Koan, which he left in 1904. Lie focused on his translations and social work for the remainder of his life, until his death from typhus at age 58. (Full article...)

    Lie, c. 1900

    Lie Kim Hok (Chinese: ; pinyin: Lǐ Jīnfú; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Lì Kim-hok; 1 November 1853 – 6 May 1912) was a peranakan Chinese teacher, writer, and social worker active in the Dutch East Indies and styled the "father of Chinese Malay literature". Born in Buitenzorg (now Bogor), West Java, Lie received his formal education in missionary schools and by the 1870s was fluent in Sundanese, vernacular Malay, and Dutch, though he was unable to understand Chinese. In the mid-1870s he married and began working as the editor of two periodicals published by his teacher and mentor D. J. van der Linden. Lie left the position in 1880. His wife died the following year. Lie published his first books, including the critically acclaimed syair (poem) Sair Tjerita Siti Akbari and grammar book Malajoe Batawi, in 1884. When van der Linden died the following year, Lie purchased the printing press and opened his own company.

    Over the following two years Lie published numerous books, including Tjhit Liap Seng, considered the first Chinese Malay novel. He also acquired printing rights for Pembrita Betawi, a newspaper based in Batavia (now Jakarta), and moved to the city. After selling his printing press in 1887, the writer spent three years working in various lines of employment until he found stability in 1890 at a rice mill operated by a friend. The following year he married Tan Sioe Nio, with whom he had four children. Lie published two books in the 1890s and, in 1900, became a founding member of the Chinese organisation Tiong Hoa Hwee Koan, which he left in 1904. Lie focused on his translations and social work for the remainder of his life, until his death from typhus at age 58. (Full article...)
  • Image 2 Tolkien in the 1920s John Ronald Reuel Tolkien CBE FRSL (/ˈruːl ˈtɒlkiːn/, ROOL TOL-keen; 3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973) was an English writer and philologist. He was the author of the high fantasy works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. From 1925 to 1945, Tolkien was the Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon and a Fellow of Pembroke College, both at the University of Oxford. He then moved within the same university to become the Merton Professor of English Language and Literature and Fellow of Merton College, and held these positions from 1945 until his retirement in 1959. Tolkien was a close friend of C. S. Lewis, a co-member of the informal literary discussion group The Inklings. He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II on 28 March 1972. (Full article...)

    Tolkien in the 1920s

    John Ronald Reuel Tolkien CBE FRSL (/ˈrl ˈtɒlkn/, ROOL TOL-keen; 3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973) was an English writer and philologist. He was the author of the high fantasy works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

    From 1925 to 1945, Tolkien was the Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon and a Fellow of Pembroke College, both at the University of Oxford. He then moved within the same university to become the Merton Professor of English Language and Literature and Fellow of Merton College, and held these positions from 1945 until his retirement in 1959. Tolkien was a close friend of C. S. Lewis, a co-member of the informal literary discussion group The Inklings. He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II on 28 March 1972. (Full article...)
  • Image 3 Achebe in Lagos, 1966 Chinua Achebe (/ˈtʃɪnwɑː əˈtʃɛbeɪ/ ⓘ; born Albert Chinụalụmọgụ Achebe;16 November 1930 – 21 March 2013) was a Nigerian novelist, poet, and critic who is regarded as a central figure of modern African literature. His first novel and magnum opus, Things Fall Apart (1958), occupies a pivotal place in African literature and remains the most widely studied, translated, and read African novel. Along with Things Fall Apart, his No Longer at Ease (1960) and Arrow of God (1964) complete the "African Trilogy". Later novels include A Man of the People (1966) and Anthills of the Savannah (1987). In the West, Achebe is often referred to as the "father of African literature", although he vigorously rejected the characterization. Born in Ogidi, Colonial Nigeria, Achebe's childhood was influenced by both Igbo traditional culture and postcolonial Christianity. He excelled in school and attended what is now the University of Ibadan, where he became fiercely critical of how Western literature depicted Africa. Moving to Lagos after graduation, he worked for the Nigerian Broadcasting Service (NBS) and garnered international attention for his 1958 novel Things Fall Apart. In less than 10 years he would publish four further novels through the publisher Heinemann, with whom he began the Heinemann African Writers Series and galvanized the careers of African writers, such as Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o and Flora Nwapa. (Full article...)

    Achebe in Lagos, 1966

    Chinua Achebe (/ˈɪnwɑː əˈɛb/ ; born Albert Chinụalụmọgụ Achebe;16 November 1930 – 21 March 2013) was a Nigerian novelist, poet, and critic who is regarded as a central figure of modern African literature. His first novel and magnum opus, Things Fall Apart (1958), occupies a pivotal place in African literature and remains the most widely studied, translated, and read African novel. Along with Things Fall Apart, his No Longer at Ease (1960) and Arrow of God (1964) complete the "African Trilogy". Later novels include A Man of the People (1966) and Anthills of the Savannah (1987). In the West, Achebe is often referred to as the "father of African literature", although he vigorously rejected the characterization.

    Born in Ogidi, Colonial Nigeria, Achebe's childhood was influenced by both Igbo traditional culture and postcolonial Christianity. He excelled in school and attended what is now the University of Ibadan, where he became fiercely critical of how Western literature depicted Africa. Moving to Lagos after graduation, he worked for the Nigerian Broadcasting Service (NBS) and garnered international attention for his 1958 novel Things Fall Apart. In less than 10 years he would publish four further novels through the publisher Heinemann, with whom he began the Heinemann African Writers Series and galvanized the careers of African writers, such as Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o and Flora Nwapa. (Full article...)
  • Image 4 Wollstonecraft c. 1797 Mary Wollstonecraft (/ˈwʊlstənkræft/, also UK: /-krɑːft/; 27 April 1759 – 10 September 1797) was a British writer, philosopher, and advocate of women's rights. Until the late 20th century, Wollstonecraft's life, which encompassed several unconventional personal relationships at the time, received more attention than her writing. Today Wollstonecraft is regarded as one of the founding feminist philosophers, and feminists often cite both her life and her works as important influences. During her brief career she wrote novels, treatises, a travel narrative, a history of the French Revolution, a conduct book, and a children's book. Wollstonecraft is best known for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), in which she argues that women are not naturally inferior to men but appear to be only because they lack education. She suggests that both men and women should be treated as rational beings and imagines a social order founded on reason. (Full article...)

    Wollstonecraft c. 1797

    Mary Wollstonecraft (/ˈwʊlstənkræft/, also UK: /-krɑːft/; 27 April 1759 – 10 September 1797) was a British writer, philosopher, and advocate of women's rights. Until the late 20th century, Wollstonecraft's life, which encompassed several unconventional personal relationships at the time, received more attention than her writing. Today Wollstonecraft is regarded as one of the founding feminist philosophers, and feminists often cite both her life and her works as important influences.

    During her brief career she wrote novels, treatises, a travel narrative, a history of the French Revolution, a conduct book, and a children's book. Wollstonecraft is best known for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), in which she argues that women are not naturally inferior to men but appear to be only because they lack education. She suggests that both men and women should be treated as rational beings and imagines a social order founded on reason. (Full article...)
  • Image 5 There are no contemporaneous portraits of Du Fu; this is a later artist's impression. Du Fu (Chinese: 杜甫; Wade–Giles: Tu Fu; 712–770) was a Chinese poet and politician during the Tang dynasty. Together with his elder contemporary and friend Li Bai, Du is often considered one of the greatest Chinese poets. His greatest ambition was to serve his country as a successful civil servant, but Du proved unable to make the necessary accommodations. His life, like all of China, was devastated by the An Lushan Rebellion of 755, and his last 15 years were a time of almost constant unrest. Although initially he was little-known to other writers, his works came to be hugely influential in both Chinese and Japanese literary culture. Of his poetic writing, nearly fifteen hundred poems have been preserved over the ages. He has been called the "Poet-Historian" and the "Poet-Sage" by Chinese critics, while the range of his work has allowed him to be introduced to Western readers as "the Chinese Virgil, Horace, Ovid, Shakespeare, Milton, Burns, Wordsworth, Béranger, Hugo or Baudelaire". (Full article...)

    There are no contemporaneous portraits of Du Fu; this is a later artist's impression.

    Du Fu (Chinese: ; Wade–Giles: Tu Fu; 712–770) was a Chinese poet and politician during the Tang dynasty. Together with his elder contemporary and friend Li Bai, Du is often considered one of the greatest Chinese poets. His greatest ambition was to serve his country as a successful civil servant, but Du proved unable to make the necessary accommodations. His life, like all of China, was devastated by the An Lushan Rebellion of 755, and his last 15 years were a time of almost constant unrest.

    Although initially he was little-known to other writers, his works came to be hugely influential in both Chinese and Japanese literary culture. Of his poetic writing, nearly fifteen hundred poems have been preserved over the ages. He has been called the "Poet-Historian" and the "Poet-Sage" by Chinese critics, while the range of his work has allowed him to be introduced to Western readers as "the Chinese Virgil, Horace, Ovid, Shakespeare, Milton, Burns, Wordsworth, Béranger, Hugo or Baudelaire". (Full article...)
  • Image 6 Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (UK: /ˈwʊlstənkrɑːft/; née Godwin; 30 August 1797 – 1 February 1851) was an English novelist who is best known for writing the Gothic novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818), which is considered an early example of science fiction. She also edited and promoted the works of her husband, the Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. Her father was the political philosopher William Godwin and her mother was the philosopher and women's rights advocate Mary Wollstonecraft. Mary's mother died 11 days after giving birth to her. She was raised by her father, who provided her with a rich if informal education, encouraging her to adhere to his own anarchist political theories. When she was four, her father married a neighbour, Mary Jane Clairmont, with whom Mary came to have a troubled relationship. (Full article...)

    Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (UK: /ˈwʊlstənkrɑːft/; née Godwin; 30 August 1797 – 1 February 1851) was an English novelist who is best known for writing the Gothic novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818), which is considered an early example of science fiction. She also edited and promoted the works of her husband, the Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. Her father was the political philosopher William Godwin and her mother was the philosopher and women's rights advocate Mary Wollstonecraft.

    Mary's mother died 11 days after giving birth to her. She was raised by her father, who provided her with a rich if informal education, encouraging her to adhere to his own anarchist political theories. When she was four, her father married a neighbour, Mary Jane Clairmont, with whom Mary came to have a troubled relationship. (Full article...)
  • Image 7 Pound photographed in 1913 by Alvin Langdon Coburn Ezra Weston Loomis Pound (30 October 1885 – 1 November 1972) was an expatriate American poet and critic, a major figure in the early modernist poetry movement, and a collaborator in Fascist Italy and the Salò Republic during World War II. His works include Ripostes (1912), Hugh Selwyn Mauberley (1920), and his 800-page epic poem, The Cantos (c. 1917–1962). Pound's contribution to poetry began in the early 20th century with his role in developing Imagism, a movement stressing precision and economy of language. Working in London as foreign editor of several American literary magazines, he helped discover and shape the work of contemporaries such as Robert Frost, T. S. Eliot, Ernest Hemingway, and James Joyce. He was responsible for the 1914 serialization of Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, the 1915 publication of Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", and the serialization from 1918 of Joyce's Ulysses. Hemingway wrote in 1932 that, for poets born in the late 19th or early 20th century, not to be influenced by Pound would be "like passing through a great blizzard and not feeling its cold." (Full article...)
    photograph of Ezra H. Pound
    Pound photographed in 1913 by Alvin Langdon Coburn



    Ezra Weston Loomis Pound (30 October 1885 – 1 November 1972) was an expatriate American poet and critic, a major figure in the early modernist poetry movement, and a collaborator in Fascist Italy and the Salò Republic during World War II. His works include Ripostes (1912), Hugh Selwyn Mauberley (1920), and his 800-page epic poem, The Cantos (c. 1917–1962).

    Pound's contribution to poetry began in the early 20th century with his role in developing Imagism, a movement stressing precision and economy of language. Working in London as foreign editor of several American literary magazines, he helped discover and shape the work of contemporaries such as Robert Frost, T. S. Eliot, Ernest Hemingway, and James Joyce. He was responsible for the 1914 serialization of Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, the 1915 publication of Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", and the serialization from 1918 of Joyce's Ulysses. Hemingway wrote in 1932 that, for poets born in the late 19th or early 20th century, not to be influenced by Pound would be "like passing through a great blizzard and not feeling its cold." (Full article...)
  • Image 8 Meeker in 1921 Ezra Morgan Meeker (December 29, 1830 – December 3, 1928) was an American pioneer who traveled the Oregon Trail by ox-drawn wagon as a young man, migrating from Iowa to the Pacific Coast. Later in life he worked to memorialize the Trail, repeatedly retracing the trip of his youth. Once known as the "Hop King of the World", he was the first mayor of Puyallup, Washington. Meeker was born in Butler County, Ohio, to Jacob and Phoebe Meeker. His family relocated to Indiana when he was a boy. He married Eliza Jane Sumner in 1851; the following year the couple, with their newborn son and Ezra's brother, set out for the Oregon Territory, where land could be claimed and settled on. Although they endured hardships on the Trail in the journey of nearly six months, the entire party survived the trek. Meeker and his family briefly stayed near Portland, then journeyed north to live in the Puget Sound region. They settled at what is now Puyallup in 1862, where Meeker grew hops for use in brewing beer. By 1887, his business had made him wealthy, and his wife built a large mansion for the family. In 1891, an infestation of hop aphids destroyed his crops and took much of his fortune. He later tried his hand at a number of ventures, and made four largely unsuccessful trips to the Klondike, taking groceries and hoping to profit from the gold rush. (Full article...)

    Meeker in 1921

    Ezra Morgan Meeker (December 29, 1830 – December 3, 1928) was an American pioneer who traveled the Oregon Trail by ox-drawn wagon as a young man, migrating from Iowa to the Pacific Coast. Later in life he worked to memorialize the Trail, repeatedly retracing the trip of his youth. Once known as the "Hop King of the World", he was the first mayor of Puyallup, Washington.

    Meeker was born in Butler County, Ohio, to Jacob and Phoebe Meeker. His family relocated to Indiana when he was a boy. He married Eliza Jane Sumner in 1851; the following year the couple, with their newborn son and Ezra's brother, set out for the Oregon Territory, where land could be claimed and settled on. Although they endured hardships on the Trail in the journey of nearly six months, the entire party survived the trek. Meeker and his family briefly stayed near Portland, then journeyed north to live in the Puget Sound region. They settled at what is now Puyallup in 1862, where Meeker grew hops for use in brewing beer. By 1887, his business had made him wealthy, and his wife built a large mansion for the family. In 1891, an infestation of hop aphids destroyed his crops and took much of his fortune. He later tried his hand at a number of ventures, and made four largely unsuccessful trips to the Klondike, taking groceries and hoping to profit from the gold rush. (Full article...)
  • Image 9 Andrade in 1928 Mário Raul de Morais Andrade (October 9, 1893 – February 25, 1945) was a Brazilian poet, novelist, musicologist, art historian and critic, and photographer. He wrote one of the first and most influential collections of modern Brazilian poetry, Paulicéia Desvairada (Hallucinated City), published in 1922. He has had considerable influence on modern Brazilian literature, and as a scholar and essayist—he was a pioneer of the field of ethnomusicology—his influence has reached far beyond Brazil. Andrade was a central figure in the avant-garde movement of São Paulo for twenty years. Trained as a musician and best known as a poet and novelist, Andrade was personally involved in virtually every discipline that was connected with São Paulo modernism. His photography and essays on a wide variety of subjects, from history to literature and music, were widely published. He was the driving force behind the Modern Art Week, the 1922 event that reshaped both literature and the visual arts in Brazil, and a member of the avant-garde "Group of Five". The ideas behind the Week were further explored in the preface to his poetry collection Pauliceia Desvairada, and in the poems themselves. (Full article...)

    Andrade in 1928

    Mário Raul de Morais Andrade (October 9, 1893 – February 25, 1945) was a Brazilian poet, novelist, musicologist, art historian and critic, and photographer. He wrote one of the first and most influential collections of modern Brazilian poetry, Paulicéia Desvairada (Hallucinated City), published in 1922. He has had considerable influence on modern Brazilian literature, and as a scholar and essayist—he was a pioneer of the field of ethnomusicology—his influence has reached far beyond Brazil.

    Andrade was a central figure in the avant-garde movement of São Paulo for twenty years. Trained as a musician and best known as a poet and novelist, Andrade was personally involved in virtually every discipline that was connected with São Paulo modernism. His photography and essays on a wide variety of subjects, from history to literature and music, were widely published. He was the driving force behind the Modern Art Week, the 1922 event that reshaped both literature and the visual arts in Brazil, and a member of the avant-garde "Group of Five". The ideas behind the Week were further explored in the preface to his poetry collection Pauliceia Desvairada, and in the poems themselves. (Full article...)
  • Image 10 Photo by Tee Corinne, 1983 Ann Weldy (born September 15, 1932), better known by her pen name Ann Bannon, is an American author who, from 1957 to 1962, wrote six lesbian pulp fiction novels known as The Beebo Brinker Chronicles. The books' enduring popularity and impact on lesbian identity has earned her the title "Queen of Lesbian Pulp Fiction". Bannon was a young housewife trying to address her own issues of sexuality when she was inspired to write her first novel. Her subsequent books featured four characters who reappeared throughout the series, including her eponymous heroine, Beebo Brinker, who came to embody the archetype of a butch lesbian. The majority of her characters mirrored people she knew, but their stories reflected a life she did not feel she was able to live. Despite her traditional upbringing and role in married life, her novels defied conventions for romance stories and depictions of lesbians by addressing complex homosexual relationships. Her books shaped lesbian identity for lesbians and heterosexuals alike, but Bannon was mostly unaware of their impact. She stopped writing in 1962. Later, she earned a doctorate in linguistics and became an academic. She endured a difficult marriage for 27 years and, as she separated from her husband in the 1980s, her books were republished; she was stunned to learn of their influence on society. They were released again between 2001 and 2003 and were adapted as an award-winning Off-Broadway production. They are taught in women's and LGBT studies courses, and Bannon has received numerous awards for pioneering lesbian and gay literature. She has been described as "the premier fictional representation of US lesbian life in the fifties and sixties", and it has been said that her books "rest on the bookshelf of nearly every even faintly literate Lesbian". (Full article...)

    Photo by Tee Corinne, 1983

    Ann Weldy (born September 15, 1932), better known by her pen name Ann Bannon, is an American author who, from 1957 to 1962, wrote six lesbian pulp fiction novels known as The Beebo Brinker Chronicles. The books' enduring popularity and impact on lesbian identity has earned her the title "Queen of Lesbian Pulp Fiction". Bannon was a young housewife trying to address her own issues of sexuality when she was inspired to write her first novel. Her subsequent books featured four characters who reappeared throughout the series, including her eponymous heroine, Beebo Brinker, who came to embody the archetype of a butch lesbian. The majority of her characters mirrored people she knew, but their stories reflected a life she did not feel she was able to live. Despite her traditional upbringing and role in married life, her novels defied conventions for romance stories and depictions of lesbians by addressing complex homosexual relationships.

    Her books shaped lesbian identity for lesbians and heterosexuals alike, but Bannon was mostly unaware of their impact. She stopped writing in 1962. Later, she earned a doctorate in linguistics and became an academic. She endured a difficult marriage for 27 years and, as she separated from her husband in the 1980s, her books were republished; she was stunned to learn of their influence on society. They were released again between 2001 and 2003 and were adapted as an award-winning Off-Broadway production. They are taught in women's and LGBT studies courses, and Bannon has received numerous awards for pioneering lesbian and gay literature. She has been described as "the premier fictional representation of US lesbian life in the fifties and sixties", and it has been said that her books "rest on the bookshelf of nearly every even faintly literate Lesbian". (Full article...)

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A recitation of "O frondens", from Ordo Virtutum, an allegorical morality play, or liturgical drama, by Hildegard of Bingen

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