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Certain forms of writing, however, are universally regarded as belonging to literature as an art.
Individual attempts within these forms are said to succeed if they possess something called artistic merit and to fail if they do not.
The nature of artistic merit is less easy to define than to recognize. On the contrary, a scientific exposition might be of great literary value and a pedestrian poem of none at all.
Greeks thought of history as one of the seven arts, inspired by a goddess, the muse Clio.
Now, as in the past, some of the greatest essayists are critics of literature, drama, and the arts.letters) rank among the world’s greatest literature.
Some examples of this biographical literature were written with posterity in mind, others with no thought of their being read by anyone but the writer.Yet both are classed as literature, while the speculations of other philosophers, ancient and modern, are not.Certain scientific works endure as literature long after their scientific content has become outdated.when describing literature is itself misleading, for one may speak of “oral literature” or “the literature of preliterate peoples.” The art of literature is not reducible to the words on the page; they are there solely because of the craft of writing.As an art, literature might be described as the organization of words to give pleasure.All of the world’s classic surveys of history can stand as noble examples of the art of literature, but most historical works and studies today are not written primarily with literary excellence in mind, though they may possess it, as it were, by accident.essay was once written deliberately as a piece of literature: its subject matter was of comparatively minor importance.Today most essays are written as expository, informative journalism, although there are still essayists in the great tradition who think of themselves as artists.Most critics would not admit advertising copywriting, purely commercial fiction, or cinema and television scripts as accepted forms of literary expression, although others would hotly dispute their exclusion.The test in individual cases would seem to be one of enduring satisfaction and, of course, truth.This is particularly true of books of natural history, where the element of personal observation is of special importance.An excellent example is Gilbert White’s Oratory, the art of persuasion, was long considered a great literary art.