1. pertaining to or of the nature of books and writings, esp. those classed as literature: literary history.
2. pertaining to authorship: literary style.
3. versed in or acquainted with literature; well-read.
4. engaged in or having the profession of literature or writing: a literary man.
5. characterized by an excessive or affected display of learning; stilted; pedantic.
6. preferring books to actual experience; bookish. Unabridged (v 1.1)Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

1. writings in which expression and form, in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest, are characteristic or essential features, as poetry, novels, history, biography, and essays.
2. the entire body of writings of a specific language, period, people, etc.: the literature of England. 3. the writings dealing with a particular subject: the literature of ornithology.
4. the profession of a writer or author.
5. literary work or production.
6. any kind of printed material, as circulars, leaflets, or handbills: literature describing company products.
7. Archaic. polite learning; literary culture; appreciation of letters and books.


I was helping a friend move the other day, and she has a LOT of books. She moved in with her boyfriend, who also has a lot of books. They had a friend who was also helping. I have met this friend before, and I'm not a fan. We'll call him Jerk.

Now, Jerk has pissed me off before. Jerk considers himself a writer, and he had me read his short story at a party once. Without getting into what the story was about, I will say that it was extremely misogynistic, and because I was asked my opinion, I said so. I was even nicer than I usually am when confronted with such obvious hatred of women. Well, he started yelling at me about how I didn't understand, how women trample Nice Guys all the time (here is a nice rant that encapsulates how I feel about nice guys, from the awesome ladies of Heartless Bitches International:

I pretty calmly disengaged with Jerk, because he obviously has a lot of issues about women, and later that night, he asked if he could kiss me. Ew.

So I was not happy to see him standing beside the moving van. I was able to get on with the moving, but then later, over post-move beers, Jerk started going on about books. Someone brought up a popular author, and Jerk said something about how the people who read that popular author don't really read anything. Well, I read the popular author, so I took offense to that. And both my female friend and I said that I also read a lot of what Jerk considers "literature."

Of course, his definition of "literature" is narrow and elitist, and, friends and neighbors, he actually started quizzing me on what I've read. He was quickly hustled off by the boyfriend.

I let it go that day, because we were all a bit tired, waiting for pizza, but it's still making me a little angry. Of course, by the end of the week I will have forgotten it until the next time I see him.

But I hate, hate, hate elitism! Not reading Samuel Beckett or James Joyce doesn't make you a bad or a stupid person. There can be as much human truth in something written by Stephen King or by Patricia Cornwell. Besides, not everyone has the time to sit down for long periods of time, reading dense passages and trying to savor the meaning of every page. A lot of people read for fun - isn't that unbelievable? Apparently it is to Jerk.

(Before you ask, I am indeed a member of Heartless Bitches International.)


Alex said…
Wait you help people move? Interesting... I'll bear that in mind.
Iowa Vegan said…
that guy sounds like a douche!

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