Defining Literature

In an online interview ( https: // ) Links to an extemal site. Anmed Saadawi describes why he quit journalism, saying he felt it was not the proper medium to tell the kind of story he needed to tell about the violence he saw in his country between 2005-8. For this reason he tumed to literature. He says, “In journalism, a headline might say ‘13 people dead and 20 wounded’, but that’s that. Journalism can be forgotten…. But in literature, | will find one of the deceased, go to his family home, meet his wife and his children, see into his dreams, and learn about what he was thinking and feeling—even what he felt the moment he died.” Saadawi obviously thinks that literary fiction has an important role to play in understanding our world, a role that more “fact-based” kinds of writing like
journalism cannot play. What do you think Saadawi means by the distinction he makes between journalism and literature? In this response assignment, establish a definition of literature using Saadawi’s distinction between it and journalism. Then answer the following questions: Do you think Frankenstein in Baghdad succeeds as literature given the definition you establish? Why? or Why not?

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