Literature in all its forms can be seen as written records, whether the literature itself be factual or fictional, it is still quite possible to decipher facts through things like characters' actions and words or the authors' style of writing and the intent behind the words.The plot is for more than just entertainment purposes; within it lies information about economics, psychology, science, religions, politics, cultures, and social depth.
The problem with the formalist definition is that in order to say that literature deviates from ordinary uses of language, those uses must first be identified; this is difficult because "ordinary language" is an unstable category, differing according to social categories and across history.
Different historical periods are reflected in literature.
Not only is there literature written on each of the aforementioned topics themselves, and how they have evolved throughout history (like a book about the history of economics or a book about evolution and science, for example) but one can also learn about these things in fictional works.
Authors often include historical moments in their works, like when Lord Byron talks about the Spanish and the French in "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage: Canto I" and expresses his opinions through his character Childe Harold.
Drama and satire also developed as urban culture provided a larger public audience, and later readership, for literary production.
Lyric poetry (as opposed to epic poetry) was often the speciality of courts and aristocratic circles, particularly in East Asia where songs were collected by the Chinese aristocracy as poems, the most notable being the Shijing or Book of Songs.The most important of these include the Classics of Confucianism, of Daoism, of Mohism, of Legalism, as well as works of military science (e.g.Sun Tzu's The Art of War) and Chinese history (e.g. Ancient Chinese literature had a heavy emphasis on historiography, with often very detailed court records.Its Latin root literatura/litteratura (derived itself from littera: letter or handwriting) was used to refer to all written accounts.The concept has changed meaning over time to include texts that are spoken or sung (oral literature), and non-written verbal art forms.Developments in print technology have allowed an ever-growing distribution and proliferation of written works, culminating in electronic literature.Literature is classified according to whether it is fiction or non-fiction, and whether it is poetry or prose.Information became easier to pass down from generation to generation once we began to write it down.Eventually everything was written down, from things like home remedies and cures for illness, or how to build shelter to traditions and religious practices.The formalist definition is that "literature" foregrounds poetic effects; it is the "literariness" or "poetic" of literature that distinguishes it from ordinary speech or other kinds of writing (e.g., journalism).Jim Meyer considers this a useful characteristic in explaining the use of the term to mean published material in a particular field (e.g., "scientific literature"), as such writing must use language according to particular standards.