What is Literature?

So as some of you may know, I’ve recently started university! I’m studying literature (although I’ve only had one lecture so far!) and it’s really been making me think about what literature means to me. How can we define something so abstract? I wanted to share what I came up with, but I also wanted to pose the question to you: What does literature mean to you?


Literature is not so much the end product as the process. It’s not the publication or the type-set, it’s not the pretty cover art, and it’s not the fame or critical acclaim. Literature is words.

Literature is an art; it’s the art of expression, of education. It is entertainment and comfort, and it is discomfort and challenging. It is the gift of escape and the bestowing of empathy. It is a broadening and deepening of perception, and the addition of dimension.

Literature is sharing. It is a relationship between the word and reader that inevitably ends in change.

It is a question and an answer; a journey and a destination.

It is a cry to be heard and the promise that we will be.

Literature is revolutionary; a time bomb and a warning and a blessing. It is the wisdom and folly of times past and the prophecy of more. Literature is human and raw and honest.

It is marks on page, but they are marks that come from the soul.

What is literature? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one!

Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day.