The essay was once written deliberately as a piece of literature; its subject matter was of comparatively minor importance. Today most essays are written as expository, informative journalism, although there are still essayists in the great tradition who think of themselves as artists. Now, as in the past, some of the greatest essayists are critics of literature, drama, and the arts.
The Greeks thought of history as one of the seven arts, inspired by a goddess, the muse Clio. All of the worlds classic surveys of history can stand as noble examples of the art of literature, but most historical works and studies today are not written primarily with literary excellence in mind, though they may possess it, as it were, by accident.
But already it is necessary to qualify these statements. To use the word writing when describing literature is itself misleading, for one may rightly speak of oral literature or the literature of preliterate peoples. The art of literature is not reducible to the words on the page; they are there because of the craft of writing. As an art, literature is the organization of words to give pleasure; through them it elevates and transforms experience; through them it functions in society as a continuing symbolic criticism of values.
Literature is a form of human expression. But not everything expressed in words even when organized and written down is counted as literature. Those writings that are primarily informative technical, scholarly, journalistic would be excluded from the rank of literature by most, though not all, critics. Certain forms of writing, however, are universally regarded as belonging to literature as an art. Individual attempts within these forms are said to succeed if they possess something called artistic merit and to fail if they do not. The nature of artistic merit is less easy to define than to recognize. The writer need not even pursue it to attain it. On the contrary, a scientific exposition might be of great literary value and a pedestrian poem of none at all.
Censorship is the act of suppressing any form of expression that is deemed “inappropriate” in any matter and has been a part of the art world for centuries.
Critics have invented a variety of systems for treating literature as a collection of genres. Often these genres are artificial, invented after the fact with the aim of making literature less sprawling, more tidy. Theories of literature must be based upon direct experience of the living texts and so be flexible enough to contain their individuality and variety. Perhaps the best approach is historical, or genetic. What actually happened, and in what way did literature evolve up to the present day?
At first, changes in literary values are appreciated only at the upper levels of the literary elite itself, but often, within a generation, works once thought esoteric are being taught as part of a school syllabus. Most cultivated people once thought James Joyces incomprehensible or, where it was not, obscene. Today his methods and subject matter are commonplace in the commercial fiction of the mass culture. A few writers remain confined to the elite. Mallarmé is a good example but he would have been just as ethereal had he written in the simplest French of direct communication. His subtleties are ultimately grounded in his personality.
Essay On Censorship Of Internet Write My Term Paper Online camden alexander found the answer to a search query internet censorship Surveyor Link Limited
Popular literature on the other hand is habitually tendentious both deliberately and unconsciously. It reflects and stimulates the prejudices and parochialism of its audience. Most of the literary conflicts that have seized the totalitarian countries during the twentieth century stem directly from relentless efforts by the state to reduce elite literature to the level of the popular. The great proletarian novels of our time have been produced, not by Russians, but by American Negroes, Japanese, Germans, and most proletarian of all a German-American living in Mexico, B. Traven. Government control and censorship can inhibit literary development, perhaps deform it a little, and can destroy authors outright; but, whether in the France of Louis XIV or in the Soviet Union of the twentieth century, it cannot be said to have a fundamental effect upon the course of literature.
Popular fiction and drama, westerns and detective stories, films and television serials, all deal with the same great archetypal themes as folktales and ballads, though this is seldom due to direct influence; these are simply the limits within which the human mind works. The number of people who have elevated the formulas of popular fiction to a higher literary level is surprisingly small. Examples are H.G. Wellss early science fiction, the western stories of Gordon Young and Ernest Haycox, the detective stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Georges Simenon, and Raymond Chandler.
Lyric poetry never gets far from its origins, except that some of its finest examples Medieval Latin, Provençal, Middle High German, Middle French, Renaissance which today are only read, were actually written to be sung. In the twentieth century, however, popular songs of great literary merit have become increasingly common for example, the songs of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill in German, of Georges Brassens and Anne Sylvestre in French, and of Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, and Joni Mitchell. It is interesting to note that, in periods when the culture values artificiality, the lyric becomes stereotyped. Then, after a while, the poets revolt and, usually turning to folk origins, restore to lyric poetry at least the appearance of naturalness and spontaneity.
In preliterate societies oral literature was widely shared; it saturated the society and was as much a part of living as food, clothing, shelter, or religion. In barbaric societies, the minstrel might be a courtier of the king or chieftain, and the poet who composed liturgies might be a priest. But the oral performance itself was accessible to the whole community. As society evolved its various social layers, or classes, an elite literature began to be distinguishable from the folk literature of the people. With the invention of writing this separation was accelerated until finally literature was being experienced individually by the elite (reading a book), while folklore and folk song were experienced orally and more or less collectively by the illiterate common people.