What Is Culture? Essay

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Literature What is culture? Transcending nature: production of culture Mental and physical state at a particular time/ place: notions, ideas, insights Originates from our brains Habits, politics, arts, society, science, religion… Literature: expression of ideas and feelings through stories Stories We build up our knowledge of the world Narrativity : process of passing down knowledge through stories Why stories? 4 functions Divertive function : entertaining people Therapeutic function: healing people Mimetic function : showing people ( reality) Didactic function : teaching people History of storytelling (closely linked to the medium) Beginning: oral tradition (rhyme : memorise Early Middle Ages ( +/- 500 AD) : monks (handwriting: laborious) 15th century : first printing ( Gutenburg, Caxton) 20th century : radio and television (editorial filter) + internet ( editorial filter) interactivity Bottom line Medium changes, but essence of storytelling remains the same. Fluctuation between opposites: individual vs society, emotion vs reason, fantasy vs reality... The stress on one of the two depends on the social, economical, political = context Chapter 1: a short history of English Chapter 2 : Old English period / Anglo-Saxon period ( +/-410 -1066) Beowulf ( +/-700- 1000 AD) : Written down by an Anglo-Saxon, Christian monk Chapter 3 : Middle English Period / Anglo-Norman period( 1066- 1485) Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (+/- 1375-1400) -> the Arthurian legend by telling the adventures of one of the Knights of the Round Table The Canterbury Tales ( 1381) : Geoffrey Chaucer ( the crude poet) Chapter 4 : Early Renaissance ( 1485- 1558) Utopia (1515) – Thomas More Sir Thomas Wyatt + Henry Howard = the English sonnet Chapter 5 : Elizabethan age ( 1558- 1603) Edmund Spencer ( 1552-1599) : The

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