What is a literary text?

What Does Literary text Mean

We explain what a literary text is, its history and the expressive resources it uses. In addition, its classification and characteristics.

Literary texts offer the reader subjective, free and reflective approaches.

What is a literary text?

When we speak of a literary text we refer to a form of oral or written production that focuses its attention on the aesthetic, poetic and playful forms of language , above the real, informative or objective content that the message possesses.

The texts literary approaches offer the reader subjective, free of reflective, experiential or contemplative life content , without intention of more than raise that set of emotions and feelings in your mind. For this, these artistic texts use a whole range of expressive resources, known as tropes, rhetorical figures or literary figures, through which they can use language in a more powerful, more moving or even more rhythmic way. In ancient Greece, the literary cradle of the West, the first literary analysis of history was made ( Poetics of Aristotle) and the place occupied by the genres of that time was detailed: dramatic , epic and lyrical.

Through them, Greek citizens were formed emotionally and civically , transmitting political, religious and moral values . Many of the texts of that time still survive among us. Currently, on the other hand, the reading of literary texts is considered a leisure and recreation activity, or training in High Culture or Fine Arts . But due to its profound human content, it occupies a central place in the imagination of the human being and is constantly winked at in other discourses of culture , which use literature to better express their contents, as is the case with psychoanalysis. See also: Literary essay

Characteristics of a literary text

Literary texts do not change over time, but are historically preserved.

A literary text, broadly speaking, has the following characteristics:

  • It has no practical purpose or immediate utility.
  • Use language in unconventional, daring, or avant-garde ways.
  • It relates events that did not take place, or even real events but from fictional, impossible or novel perspectives.
  • It expresses deep subjective or philosophical content.
  • It has a specific extension and a specific, immovable end point.
  • They do not change over time , but are historically preserved.

Types of literary texts

Literary texts are classified according to four genres, called literary genres, which classify them based on the methods they have to arouse an aesthetic or playful effect on the reader, and which are the following:

  • Narrative. When we speak of narrative we speak of short story , novel , micro- story , chronicle and other forms of the story, real or imaginary, fantastic or realistic. They emphasize the characters , the plot and especially the figure of the narrator, who is the one who tells the story, generating similar expectations, tension and emotions for the reader.
  • Poetry . The freest and most complex of the literary arts, it has practically no specific format that defines it, except the idea of describing a subjective state of being: feelings, life perspectives, reflections or even a certain degree of narration , but without defined characters. narrators or plot. It is about the creation of its own language, which formerly had to have rhymes and verses counted by syllables, but this practice is considered archaic today.
  • Dramaturgy. The dramatic is intended for representation in theater , film or television . It includes characters and settings, in situations that are happening in front of the spectator himself, without being mediated by the figure of a narrator at all.
  • Essay . This genre consists of the reflective and explanatory approach (expository and argumentative) of any topic that interests the author, through an exhibition exercise that seeks to offer subjective points of view and novel perspectives, instead of scientifically testing a hypothesis or demonstrating a theory .

More in: Literary Genre

Literary text and non-literary text

A literary text is useless, it can only be used as what it is, a reading.

Literary texts differ from non-literary ones in one fundamental respect: their usefulness. Despite the fact that art is important, transcendent and valued, it really lacks any practical utility : a literary text is useless, it can only be used for what it is: a reading, something that time occupies to get a subjective experience. The non-literary texts, on the other hand, are all those that are operating in the world with a clear and evident sense of usefulness : the instructions for using a washing machine, the telephone messages written down in a notebook, a billboard, etc.

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