Literature

With the development of language, the human imagination has found a way to create and communicate through the written word. A literary work can transport us into a fictional, fantastic new world, describe a fleeting feeling, or simply give us a picture of the past through novels, poems, tragedies, epic works, and other genres. Through literature, communication becomes an art, and it can bridge and bond people and cultures of different languages and backgrounds.
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Featured content, January 02, 2021

Bad Words: 7 Banned Books Through Time
Some books have been banned for reasons that may surprise you.
List / Literature
The Cheshire Cat is a fictional cat from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. (Alice in Wonderland)
Where Does the Concept of a “Grim Reaper” Come From?
Harvester of souls since when?
Demystified / Literature
grim reaper, death
What Did Shakespeare Sound Like?
“Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice.”
#WTFact / Literature
William Shakespeare, 1564-1616. c 1907
What were Sir Walter Scott’s influences?
What were Sir Walter Scott’s influences?
Companion / Literature
Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet, Scottish historical novelist and poet, 1870. Portrait of Scott  of Ivanhoe. From "A Biographical Dictionary of Eminent Scotsmen" by Thomas Thomson and Robert Chambers (London, 1870). Scotland
Brazilian literature
Brazilian literature, the body of written works produced in the Portuguese language in Brazil. Brazil was claimed for Portugal...
Encyclopedia / Literature
Andrada e Silva, portrait by an unknown artist
Rhetoric
Rhetoric, the principles of training communicators—those seeking to persuade or inform. In the 20th century it underwent...
Encyclopedia / Literature
Biography
Biography, form of literature, commonly considered nonfictional, the subject of which is the life of an individual. One of...
Encyclopedia / Literature
Boswell, detail of an oil painting from the studio of Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1786; in the National Portrait Gallery, London
Korean literature
Korean literature, the body of works written by Koreans, at first in Classical Chinese, later in various transcription systems...
Encyclopedia / Literature

Literature Quizzes

Scene from the silent motion picture "Romeo and Juliet" with Francis X. Bushman (Romeo) and Beverly Bayne (Juliet), 1916. Directed by Francis X. Bushman and John W. Noble.
Romeo and Juliet
Wherefore art thou Romeo? Think you know all about this famous love story? Test your knowledge with this quiz.
Book Jacket of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by American children's  illustrator Eric Carle (born 1929)
Classic Children’s Books
Do you remember the classic books of your childhood, or do you read them to your kids or students now? See how well you know...
Miguel de Cervantes. Don Quixote. Miguel de Cervantes Spanish novelist, poet and playwright,  of Don Quixote. Engraving from 1843 by E.Mackenzie and published in London by Charles Knight, Ludgate Street.
Cervantes
Miguel de Cervantes is much more than Spain's most famous novelist. Test what you know about him with this quiz.
Emily Dickinson, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing right
Emily Dickinson
How much do you know about Emily Dickinson? Test your knowledge with this quiz.
Magazines on display in a store in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. There are more than 1300 English and French magazines that are published in Canada.
Magazines: Fact or Fiction?
Test your knowledge of magazines with this fact-or-fiction quiz about the magazine industry’s history.
American  Toni Morrison, 2009. (Nobel Prize for Literature 1993)
Nobel Laureates in Literature
Are you a Nobel know-it-all? Match the Nobel laureates in literature to the year they earned the award!
Emily Bronte from a painting of a family group by Branwell Bronte. ca 1820-1848
The Brontë Sisters
Think you know Charlotte, Anne, and Emily Brontë, the trio behind some of the greatest Victorian novels? Take this Brontë...
Undated photograph of Russian  Leo Tolstoy.
Russian Literature
Do you think you know about Russian literature? Test your knowledge with this quiz.
Abstract question-mark background on black, punctuation, grammar
Punctuation
How do you use the Oxford comma? What’s the difference between an en dash and an em dash? How do you use ellipses? Test your...
Jane Austen an English writer who first gave the novel it's distinctly modern character through her treatment of ordinary people in everyday life.
Jane Austen
Test your knowledge about Jane Austen and her works with this quiz!
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Literature Subcategories

Aladdin Folk Literature & Fable
Step into the world of folklore, fables, legends, tall tales, and epics, in which heroes are known to undertake arduous journeys and dragons, fairies, and giants abound. Stories such as these circulated long before systems of writing were developed; ballads, folktales, poems, and the like were transmitted exclusively by word of mouth before written languages took over, and they continue to captivate listeners and readers to this day.
Articles
Benedict Cumberbatch in Doctor Strange Fictional Characters
Here you'll find some of your favorite fictional characters from literature, film, television, and the like, whether it's the analytical mastermind Sherlock Holmes and his endearing associate Dr. Watson or the menacing and helmeted Darth Vader, the ill-tempered Donald Duck or the teenage sleuth Nancy Drew.
Articles
subcategory placeholder Journalism
Extra, extra! Although the content and style of journalism and the medium through which it is delivered have varied significantly over the years, journalism has always given us a way to keep up with current events, so that we always have our fingers on the pulse.
Articles
subcategory placeholder Libraries & Reference Works
Looking to impress your friends with your expansive knowledge of historical events, philosophical concepts, obscure words, and more? We may be biased, but it seems fair enough to say that reference works such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, and textbooks have provided such a service for years (in some cases, hundreds or even thousands of years). You can look for them at your local public library, which likely stores books, manuscripts, journals, CDs, movies, and other sources of information and entertainment.
Articles
Nicolaus Copernicus: heliocentric system Literatures of the World
Literature knows no geographical bounds; s can be found in nearly all corners of the globe (except, perhaps, on the open sea). Find out more about regional literary styles and forms.
Articles
subcategory placeholder Literary Criticism
Everyone's a critic. But not all literary criticism involves judging the quality of a text; it can also focus on interpreting the meaning of a work or evaluating an 's place in literary history.
Articles
subcategory placeholder Literary Terms
This general category includes a selection of more specific topics.
Articles
epitaph Nonfiction
The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth! Nonfiction works are all about facts and real events. Although there is some debate about which kinds of literature qualify as nonfiction, the genre typically includes books in the categories of biography, memoir, science, history, self-help, cooking, health and fitness, business, and more.
Articles
Hill, Lawrence: The Book of Negroes Novels & Short Stories
Whether it's "Don Quixote," "Pride and Prejudice," "The Great Gatsby," or "The Fall of the House of Usher," novels and short stories have been enchanting and transporting readers for a great many years. There's a little something for everyone: within these two genres of literature, a wealth of types and styles can be found, including historical, epistolary, romantic, Gothic, and realist works, along with many more.
Articles
subcategory placeholder Oratory
"I have a dream..." "Four score and seven years ago..." It's not a fluke that these phrases came to be so widely known and remembered. Truly great and persuasive speeches elicit strong emotional reactions in their audiences and may have broad historical repercussions. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech and Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, quoted above, are two iconic examples of successful oratory, as are Elizabeth I's speech to the troops at Tilbury and Winston Churchill's first speech as prime minister to the House of Commons.
Articles
Falstaff and Prince Hal in Henry IV, Part 1. Plays
All the world's a stage, as Shakespeare put it in "As You Like It"; and the stage is where you'll find performances of works by such famed playwrights as Anton Chekhov, Eugene O'Neill, and the Bard himself, among many others.
Articles
The Poor Fisherman, oil on canvas by Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, 1881; in the Louvre, Paris. Poetry
Poetry is a vast subject that encompasses much more than just your average "Roses are red, violets are blue" poem. Delve into the category of literature that Percy Bysshe Shelley called "a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted," and which includes sonnets, haikus, nursery rhymes, epics, and more.
Articles
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