source : yahoo.com
How should literature be judged?
Thats a complex question….and do you mean judged in the sense of “it was good or bad, or better than another” or as in critiqued like “breaking down the plot elements, character development etc”. In order to judge a piece of literature accurately you have to critique it, otherwise your just judging based on your superficial preferances.
I’ll assume you mean judged like good or bad. The first step would be to decide on what criteria you want to judge it. There are many types of literature and judging one based on the other isn’t fair. So look up the different kinds of litterature and decide which one it fits in. Then see what the characteristics are for that type of litterature and see how well the piece of litterature compares to them. It sounds complicated but its not and I think you know what I mean.
Also….in Genre/Popular Fiction you expect shallow, only moderately developed characters, simple plot lines, and for your emotions to be stimulated more than your mind….these are the kinds of books you can lose yourself in and forget your reading a book.
In Litterature Fiction….stimulating the mind is priority, the characters are deep and complex, and the plot is deep often with many twists, allegories, metaphors, etc.
For instance if your judging a Romance novel, one kind of Popular/Genre Fiction…. then you would expect certain things like two people falling in love, obstacles, and ultimately a happy ending. But if you decided the literature fell in to a Tragic Romance piece then you would expect something….well…tragic to happen and the two people who fall in love not to be togethor in the end and no happy ending.
If the book follows all the conventions of a romance novel it is technically a good piece of litterature….whether you personally liked it or not.
But if you were to try and judge a romance novel based on Literature Fiction standards, it would be a terrible book. See my point?
Also most stories are a blend of different types…so it gets very complex and a lot is left to oppinion and personal point of view. Thats why college is so full of entire classes where all you do is read and analyze, critique, and judge books. And argue over our oppinions lol.
Its kinda complicated when it comes down to it….thus so much arguing over it! Thats just my personal take on it in a very shorthand form. Its one of those things that after a while you learn but its difficult to understand when someone first tells you. Like the teacher says oh this is a masterpiece and you think “that book sucked!”. But after you understand you are like “ok ok I don’t like it but that doesn’t mean its bad”
But this kind of judgement is for analysis and cold hard facts…. has nothing to do with how well or not well you liked the books. I’ve liked a lot of books are not “good” by traditional standards.
Source(s): Me….English Major at OSU. Working on becoming a Writing Fiction professor.
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