The Differences Between Literature and Writing

There are several important distinctions between literature and writing which have to be explained. The first and most obvious difference lays within the genres which these two concepts represent. According to Amy Sterling Casil, writing refers to essays, research papers or short fiction, whereas literature encompasses major genres such as poetry and novels [1]. With respect to this, writing may also refer to writing blogs, recipes, recensions, articles, or even to the simple written communication between two persons via social media. Literature, however, is rather a physical manifestation of an artist’s imagination. A writer has the ability to think of an entirely new world, put it on paper and take the reader on a certain journey. 

The term literature may also refer to a literary period, such as Renaissance literature or Modernist literature. On the other hand, writing may refer to ancient writings or to writings of a certain culture, such as ancient Egyptian, Latin or e.g. Chinese writings. However, such writings are not considered as literature.

This takes us to the third notable distinction which lays within the artistic value of these two concepts. Literature is one of seven arts, along with music, architecture, sculpting, film, painting and performing. As it can hereby be observed, writing is not one of the arts. This means that literature carries a certain artistic value, while writing is not considered as an art form.

[1] Amy Sterling Casil. Differences of Literature & Writing Courses. Leaf Group Ltd. 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.theclassroom.com/differences-literature-writing-courses-2175.html [Accessed 28-02-2019]

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