hello friends...i have decided to contribute to this blog..but in a different way.i would like to introduce to you all readers and book addicts actually as to what the term "literature" means...i take it as a pleasure since i am myself a literature student.thus the matter has been compiled by me with the help of my notes and the discussions we had in our English classes.but since it happens to be really a wide discussion...I will post the whole of it in parts....so happy reading all my dear readers
we approach the world,that is all reality external to ourselves, from two sides-the objective and the subjective.at every momoent of our lives we are concious of two seperate ways of world around us;for the sum of the sensations which make man a sentient being is derived in part from the presence of material existences,animate or inanimate-that is,from actual contact with so much of the world as at any given moment impinges upon his senses-and in part of the mental images ever passing and repassing through his mind,which are sometimes connected with these material existences and sometimes entirely disassociated with them.thus we hve two outlooks upon the world.from both we look upon realities;but while the former shows these realities in their objective aspect, the latter shows us them in their subjective aspect.
if we reflect a moment we must feel that the outlook upon the world which we get through our mind alone,that is, through the images or notions of external existences which we can call up at will by memory and lesson,or by both of these acting and reacting upon each other,is by far the wider.as i write the outlook upon the world which i get through the immediate action of my senses is confined to the for walls of the room in which i sit,and to such glimpses of buildings, trees, and passers by as i chance to see through the open window.but if i turn my mind away from these objects and reflect, my thoughts can range at will over the objects and existences of every country and every age-in fact,over so much of the world as is known to me by my own experience or by that of others.for in this subjective outlook I am no longer confined to my own immediate sensations but I can draw upon my past sensations,and-what is more important still-upon the sensations of other men-men of every age and every race whose thoughts and experience have been recorded in buildings,in works of art,in custom and specially in the written accounts of their opinions or of their actions which have been preserved in books or manuscripts.and of all these secondary sources of sensations,the last, which we can gather up in the term litrature,is by far the most effective and far-reaching.all art reproduces external reality in its mental aspect;but the arts-except poetry,which is the highest form of litrature-employ representations of the objectives aspect of the reality to assist in the presentation of this mental aspect.but litrature with the soul exception of the element of the musical sound,does not need assistance;for litrature-as litrature-is considered solely with the subjective outlook upon the world.
In order to make my meaning plain I will take a simple instance-let us say a battle- and I will try to point out the difference in the manner in which the painter and the historian respectively bring such an event before the mind.i have on my wall a painting in which the painter,representing the objective outlook,shows me the field of battle as i should have seen it if I had been present at a critical moment,and if I had been placed in a convenient position for seeing what was going on.he shows me the solid masses of men,the flash of steel and the dashes of bright colour,the clouds of smoke,the commander and his staff,with other prominent figures or groups of figures and the prostrate bodies of the dead and wounded upon the ground.if I look carefully at his picture he will give me some precise details,such as the color and form of the various uniforms and the disposition of the various armies,as seen from this point of view and its particular movement;but all these details are only such as can be perceived by the eyes.when I turn away from the picture, I sum up what I have learnt by saying:”now I know what the battle would have been like,if I had been there”.then I turn to my bookshelves and take down a volume of histore which contains an account of the same battle.as I read I find that the historian tells me quiet a different class of facts.in the first place he is concerned with the subjective aspect of the event, and therefore his outlook is not confined to a single point of view or to a single moment of time.it covers the whole range of factswhich together make up the significance of this battle as an event.he tells me the place where it happened,the number and nationality of the combatants,the result,immediate and remote,of the conflict,the names of the respective generals,their plans and the skill which they showed in putting these plans into action-all these and many other details.
Litrature then is ,in the widest sense, the record of the impressions made by external realities of every kind upon graet men,and the reflections which these men have made upon them.the subject matter of literature covers the whole range of human life and activity,as well as every known manifestation of physical nature.for not only are actual events and the doings and sayings of actual persons reproduced in it,but the rules deduced from the observations of the conditions of mans life are included in its records.similarly it presents to us not merely what individual men found to interest them in particular countries in a particular epoch,but also the general laws which have been gradually formulated by long continued observations of the processes of nature.and so litrature plays a very important part in the life of man.it is the greatest of the secondary sources of sensation,and it makes an immense contribution to the sum total of facts-the joint result of the experience of the individual and the race-which gives to each one of us this subjective outlook upon the world at large.