1. Culler defines literature in many ways. After reading Culler’s “What is literature and does it matter?”, what stuck out with me the most was Culler stating that “ works of literature come in all shapes and sizes.” To me I think this is the most important aspect of this chapter because it properly defines that literature is not bound to one definition or one term. Literature comes in so many different “shapes” and it could sometimes be hard to distinguish between different kinds of literature. The author shows us this by comparing two forms of literature; Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, which resembles an autobiography and a poem by Robert Burns – ‘My love is like a red, red rose’ which isn’t like a Shakespearean poem.
By drawing this inference the author is showcasing two different forms of literature and showing the readers that literature isn’t bound to a specific form of writing. Two completely different forms of writing can be put in the same category and still be classified as literature. It’s important to think of what the definition of literature is because we are surrounded by literature by it daily. There’s really not one specific way to define literature and we all have our own different interpretations of it, which only makes it much more important and unique.
2. The question that stayed with me while reading this chapter was what classifies a piece of writing as literature? Since there’s really no certain way a literature piece is written or written about a certain thing, how can you determine what is literature and what isn’t?