Literature has always been my â€˜thingâ€™. I have loved it since the school days and that love keeps increasing day by day. I love literature because it makes me happy. Literature is where I go to explore the highest and lowest places in human society and in the human spirit, where I hope to find not absolute truth but the truth of the tale, of the imagination and of the heart. Now it has become a part of who I am. It is in my blood, my soul, simply all over me. It is a quest, an adventure, a game which turns me on and makes my life far more interesting to live in. I love literature. And I want you to be so too. Because, trust me, it will make a better person out of you!
This article is a little pinch from literature, like the pinch you taste yourself before you serve some food. Call it an 'introduction' if you want. Have a little taste and I know you will love it.
The Function of literature is to provide us with pleasure of a distinctive quality. It is inside all the fine arts that prevail. The kind of pleasure provided by them is called â€˜Aestheticâ€™. Though we cannot define what it is, we know that in the presence of objects of art, something happens to alter the quality of our consciousness, with a marked intensification of feeling element, producing sensuous experiences.
Aesthetic pleasure is a function of being. Through literature, the spirit of man is liberated from a concern with the practical issues of life. The work of literature minister to our spiritual needs. The form of it gives us the aesthetic pleasure. Certain arrangements of sounds, lines, shapes, masses and colors give us delight. We can know a piece of music or a poem as a work of literature by reacting emotionally towards it.
Each of several arts â€“ Architecture, sculpture, painting, music, dancing and literature â€“ uses its own material and organizes this material in a characteristic way. Architecture is visual â€“ spatial â€“ functional but non â€“ representational in its form. Though sculpture is also the same, but it is representational and non â€“ functional. Painting visual and most representative and it is two dimensional depicting a three dimensional world. It conveys a feeling for space by the rhythm of lines, light and color. These were traditional called as fine arts and later enlarged to embrace music and of cause, literature.
Music is a construction of natural sound organized in pure time sequence, without spatial content. Using the vibrations of air set up by mechanical means, its sensuous effects are fugitive, experienced but on the instant and then gone. Musicians rely upon cultivated memory to associate symbol and sound. [Beethovenâ€™s creative effort did not end when he became deaf!]
And now for our topic, Literature!
Literature builds up its formal structures in time and it is a spoken rather than a written art. The sound of a spoken poem dies away in the air and nothing added to the permanent sensuous material in the world, for our delight. But as in music, the poem can be re-spoken and its pleasures are not diminished. Literature and music are time arts, as in each of them there is a sequence of parts to be followed by the pre- eminently social arts. In comparing we are more susceptible and thrill more readily as listeners than specters in other arts.
Music makes use of sounds regulated by pitch, tempo and harmonical relation. Literature uses sounds as a language, having meaning to be communicated to others. Music has no reference to external world. Literature is an imitative art. It uses words not only of sound but also symbols, which call up mental images and set in motion thoughts and ideas referable to material world or abstract conceptions. In other words, literature has content. Here the form and the content are inseparable. The structure of a poem enters into this meaning and itâ€™s integral with its mood. Literature ranks as the art which is most completely enfranchised. It is emancipated from dependence on the crude, physical qualities of things. When it does not depend on material things its spiritual content increases.
So, â€˜Poetryâ€™, the height of literary forms is the art further removed from functionalism and utility ad best fitted to give account of the world of sensation and feeling. Literature compares and contrasts, seeks analogies, makes judgments, explores the significance of things. It enjoys the widest franchise and wields the greatest power among all the arts. It can bid us use our reason to follow a patient analysis of cause ad effect or by imaginative insight, illuminates the universe for us. Finally it is the art which helps us to create a mental counterpart to the world of sense.
Words used poetically have a soul of their own. They have intrinsic qualities of form, color and emotive force and out of these; the poet builds up his ideal world. Words acquire character and hold their place in poetry by inherent right. They become imbued with an individual quality which we call style and at that point, their poetic â€“ literary use begins. In a literary passage, we find a substance of meaning called its content and with it, a pulsation of emotion coming out of words super charged with feeling.
Finally, my dears, Literature is not just a pleasure, a solace, or an amusement; it is a great matter. Literature is an organ of human life, transmitting man's reasonable perception into feeling. The task of literature is enormous. Through the influence of real literature, aided by science, guided by religion, that peaceful co-operation of man is now obtained by external means-by law courts, police, charitable institutions, factory inspection, etc. should be obtained by man's free and joyous activity. Literature should cause violence to be set aside. And it is only literature that can accomplish this to the fullest. Make a little more space in your hearts to the noble art of literature and of cause that will lead us to a better place, to a better world!