In my last post I asked if there erotica had any literary value. Interestingly enough, I was accused of asking that as an attempt at scouting out the genre before delving into it, which isn’t the case.
Either way, I realized that first we must define literature, if possible.
In school we are given certain texts that are defined by society as literature. Whether it’s Mark Twain, Shakespeare, or whatever the culture may deem “good enough” to be literature.
I operate under the belief that literature is defined by the reader. While the most learned of critics may set a standard as to what literature is, the individual reader sets their own standard of literature. The reader absorbs text differently, and while an author may portray use some symbolism, there’s no guarantee the reader will take the same meaning from it. What one reader may think is literature, another may think it is garbage.
That leaves the answer to the question up to you, the reader. What do you define as literature?