A return to essays

Over the past couple of days I have been working towards something, something I’m not going to talk about online until I have something solid to say (although I’ve mentioned it to a couple of friends). Anyway, this basically means that I have been working on essay writing all the time. Yuk.
Okay, I quite like essay writing, and it’s certainly nice to have my brain stretched again, but my goodness my brain is being stretched! The essay question refers to the “abilities” of the arts and then asks you to illustrate them using a piece of literature (or several other art-forms that I’m less comfortable writing about). Can I just say that the question sounds so simple when I put it like that!
lit·er·a·ture 
n.
1. The body of written works of a language, period, or culture.
2. Imaginative or creative writing, especially of recognized artistic value: “Literature must be an analysis of experience and a synthesis of the findings into a unity” (Rebecca West).
3. The art or occupation of a literary writer.
4. The body of written work produced by scholars or researchers in a given field: medical literature.
5. Printed material: collected all the available literature on the subject.
6. Music All the compositions of a certain kind or for a specific instrument or ensemble: the symphonic literature.
A problem that this has brought to the forefront is what classifies as literature. I can find a perfect novel to illustrate the points but it was written in 2004… some people would say that 2004 is too recent to be literature. What about a play? Oh, that could be a bit funny too. The problem is, without knowing what the ‘examiner’ considers literature it’s very difficult to choose something to write about and when the essay is for something important I’m not going to push boundries and challenge the status quo… I just wish I knew what their view was!
So yeah, you know when I said I was essay writing? I kinda lied. I haven’t even chosen the book yet.
But I will!!
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