What are the features of literary language? 


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Yo Kass Profile
Yo Kass answered
I could spend all day listing things that certain literary works have in common, but the truth is that there are no specific criteria for what is considered "literary language", and for what doesn't make the cut.

Rather than "features" of literature, I'd suggest you spend some time comparing how a piece of text compares to other writing of its time, and also how it compares to modern writing.

What are the features of literature
Some literature is ripe with metaphors and similes, some literature boasts complex narration and multiple characters, and some literature is written as if by 12-year-olds.

There are no rules for what constitutes literature. Instead, literature tends to be defined by what other people think of it.

Whilst Shakespeare's works obviously go into the category considered "literary" because they offer more depth than everyday writing like newspapers, magazine articles, or books like the Mills and Boon series - where should we stand on things like Harry Potter or 50 Shades of Grey?

So what is literature? Just because Harry Potter is read by children, does that mean we discount the fact that the JK Rowling is an incredibly talented author? Does it not count that her books have outsold most authors ever to have been published?

My favorite example of just how "volatile" the definition of literature is comes in the form of Charles Dickens:

Although Dickens is widely considered a literary genius, and is taught in lecture-halls and classrooms across the land, it's interesting to think that, at the time of publication, a lot of Dickens' work appeared as serialised short-stories in magazines.

In fact, a lot of Dickens work was considered "cheap entertainment" at the time when he wrote it, and was only appreciated for its "literary" depth after a long period of time had passed.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
It is almost impossible to isolate any single or special property of language which is exclusive to a literary work.

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