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, July 06, 2021

All the World’s a Stage: 6 Places in Shakespeare, Then and Now
Tour with the Bard from Denmark to Egypt.
List / Literature
Scene from the motion picture "Romeo and Juliet" with Olivia Hussey (Juliet) and Leonard Whiting (Romeo), 1968; directed by Franco Zeffirelli.
What did Sir Walter Scott write?
What did Sir Walter Scott write?
Companion / Literature
Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet, Scottish historical novelist and poet, 1870. Portrait of Scott author of Ivanhoe. Scotland
The Bizarre Origins of the Words Nerd and Geek
On the nature of nerdiness…or geekiness.
#WTFact / Literature
Student girl writing formulas on transparent wall
Why Do We Say “A Pair of Pants”?
Well, there are more than a pair of answers.
Demystified / Literature
jeans, denim, pants, clothing
Latin American literature
Latin American literature, the national literatures of the Spanish-speaking countries of the Western Hemisphere. Historically,...
Encyclopedia / Literature
Eugenio de Santa Cruz y Espejo, Francisco Javier
Short story
Short story, brief fictional prose narrative that is shorter than a novel and that usually deals with only a few characters....
Encyclopedia / Literature
Panchatantra
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
Literature
Literature, a body of written works. The name has traditionally been applied to those imaginative works of poetry and prose...
Encyclopedia / Literature

Literature Quizzes

George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron. Lord Byron English poet (1788-1824) was a leading figure in the Romantic movement.
10 British Poets: A Quiz
This quiz will test your knowledge of ten notable poets from Great Britain. Find out how much you know about their lives...
Books. Lord Alfred Tennyson. Lord Byron. Poetry. Reading. Literacy. Library. Antique. A stack of four antique leather bound books.
Poets and Poetry of Great Britain Quiz
Whose book The Hunting of the Snark has been called the longest and best-sustained nonsense poem in the English...
Nobel prize-winning American author, Pearl S. Buck, at her home, Green Hills Farm, near Perkasie, Pennsylvania, 1962. (Pearl Buck)
Novels and Novelists Quiz
What was Arthur Conan Doyle’s actual profession? Who invented the historical novel? Settle in for this novel-length quiz...
Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) portrait by Carl Van Vecht April 3, 1938. Writer, folklorist and anthropologist celebrated African American culture of the rural South.
American Writers Quiz
Who wrote Beloved? How about Leaves of Grass? Prepare to test your deepest knowledge of American writers...
Books. Reading. Publishing. Print. Literature. Literacy. Rows of used books for sale on a table.
Name the Novelist
Every answer in this quiz is the name of a novelist. How many do you know?
Three stacked volumes of collected works by William Shakespeare. Shakespearean tragedies, Shakespearean comedies, books.
Literary Classics Quiz
Who wrote Moll Flanders? Who is the protagonist in Crime and Punishment? Haul your classics down from your...
Stack of books, pile of books, literature, reading. Hompepage blog 2009, arts and entertainment, history and society.
Charlotte Brontë Quiz
What was Charlotte Brontë’s pseudonym? Which book remained unfinished at the time of Brontë’s death? Take this quiz to find...
Gulliver in Lilliput. Lemuel Gulliver, set ashore after a mutiny, regains consciousness and finds himself a prisoner of the Lilliputians. From Gulliver's Travels, Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts by Jonathan Swift.
Jonathan Swift Quiz
What was Jonathan Swift’s pseudonym? Which political parties was he making fun of in Gulliver’s Travels? Test your...
Edgar Allan Poe 1848. Photo of daguerreotype by W.S. Hartshorn 1848; copyright 1904 by C.T. Tatman. Edgar Allan Poe, American poet, short story writer, editor and critic. Edgar Allen Poe
Poe’s Scary Stories Quiz
What word does the bird speak in “The Raven”? What story comes to life in “The Fall of the House of Usher”? Test your knowledge...
Silhouette of detective investigate is following footprints
Nancy Drew and the Case of the Online Quiz
What was Nancy Drew’s first mystery? What other teen detectives did Nancy collaborate with? Test your knowledge of Nancy...
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Literature Subcategories

subcategory placeholder 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
Fantastic Four 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
Edward O. Wilson 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
wine bottle Literatures of the World
Literature knows no geographical bounds; authors 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 author's place in literary history.
Articles
To the Lighthouse Literary Terms
This general category includes a selection of more specific topics.
Articles
subcategory placeholder 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
The War of the Worlds 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
Justus of Ghent: Saint Augustine 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
Hamlet 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
subcategory placeholder 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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