The power of Words

"Literature, in its widest sense, embraces all compositions in writing or print which preserve the results of observation, thought, or fancy ..." says Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary in its definition "... It is often confined, however, to belles-lettres, or works of taste and sentiment, as poetry, eloquence, history, etc., excluding abstract discussions and mere erudition. "

Literature can be defined by listing criteria which literary works have fully or partially to satisfy. Criteria defining the syntacical and semantical structure. But there is an empirical approach as well, managed unconsciously by most readers: they build up a reference system of literary works. Authors or better their writings function as thresholds by which others get classified into literature und non-literature.

Each reader - though highly influenced by his educational upbringing and other factors - develops his or her own reference system and as a consequence there can never be a total agreement on the borderline between "good" und "bad" literature.

There are irrevocable monuments in literature which can't be criticized without being treated as illiterate. Shakespeare and James Joyce, just to name two, are beyond all doubt.

If you are looking for literature on the web, Project Gutenberg is a great place to start with. It is the Internet's oldest producer of free electronic books (eBooks or etexts).

If you want to look for newer literature, which hasn't made its way into the "reference system", you can have a look at Autoren heute and at my novel Galois Schweigen. A biographie in German can be downloaded: Evariste Galois oder das tragische Scheitern eines Genies

Please see my other site at Bernd Klein Net


If you are a computer linguist or another person who is not only interested in the power and beauty of words but also in their mathematical and statistical structure, you need a powerful programming language. Python should be your choice. Please consider joining one of my Python Text Processing Courses, if you want to learn it. They are covering both an introduction in the language and in text classification and processing.

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