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CZ:Literature Workgroup

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The Citizendium Literature Workgroup
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The purpose of this Literature Workgroup is to co-ordinate and organise the work on, and improvement of, articles on Literature. If you'd like to join as an Author, please add yourself to Category:Literature Authors, introduce yourself on the Literature Workgroup Forum and start improving articles. If you think you have the expertise to be an Editor, take a look at the instructions on how to become an editor and then add yourself to Category: Literature Editors.


Core Articles

What are core articles? Core articles are our top priority articles – articles that are most in demand and most important for us to include in an encyclopedia that has any hope of being comprehensive.

These are the highest priority articles items for the Literature Workgroup, though they have not yet been finalized by a Workgroup editor. In order to keep the list manageable, this list should be contain no more than about 200 items total. Thus only those articles should be added which can reasonably be considered of paramount importance for the Literature WG.

Transcluded list from CZ:Core Articles

Core articles

Core articles are those that are as-yet unwritten and so should be prioritised. Please start articles on the topics below. Click here to edit this transcluded list.


Click on the [r] after the first definition below to edit this list of transcluded subtopics.

  • Literature [r]: The profession of “letters” (from Latin litteras), and written texts considered as aesthetic and expressive objects. [e]


  • Children's literature [r]: Fiction and poetry written specifically for children, entertaining rather than didactic [e]
  • Drama [r]: A type of literature, especially plays, meant to be delivered in spoken performance on stage. [e]
  • Epic [r]: A type of poem, usually describing the heroic exploits of a character with a narrative story important to the culture and history of a people. [e]
  • Fairy tale [r]: A story with magical or supernatural elements, in either oral tradition or written literature. [e]
  • Fantasy [r]: A speculative artistic genre involving the supernatural. [e]
  • Folklore [r]: The body of myths, legends, and traditional beliefs of a people or the study of those beliefs. [e]
  • Gothic novel [r]: A form of fiction which became popular in England in the second half of the eighteenth century involving elements of the supernatural designed to give a pleasing frisson of terror to the reader. [e]
  • Haiku [r]: A Japanese poem containing of three lines with five, seven, five syllables, respectively. [e]
  • Historical novel [r]: A form of fiction which places its fictional characters in historical settings where they interact with the real people of the time. [e]
  • Mystery [r]: Add brief definition or description
  • Nature writing [r]: Add brief definition or description
  • Novel [r]: A work of prose fiction of extended length. [e]
  • Poetry [r]: A form of literary work which uses rhythm, metre, and sound elements (such as assonance or dissonance) to structure, amplify, and in some instances supplant the literal meanings of words. [e]
  • Romance literature [r]: A medieval verse or prose story concerning often concerning love or acts of chivalry in somewhat of a fantasy setting. [e]
  • Science fiction [r]: A story-telling genre that presents alternatives to what is currently considered scientifically possible or that extrapolates from present-day knowledge. [e]
  • Short story [r]: Add brief definition or description
  • Young adult literature [r]: Add brief definition or description

National literatures

In the listings below, articles (links) rendered in blue are those articles which have at least some substantive content beyond a mere definition. Those articles rendered bold-faced link to lemma articles, which have no content beyond the bare definition only. If the link is rendered magenta, then not even a lemma article has been created. The bar graph to the left of those articles which have substantive content (blue link) indicates the level of completeness of the article.

  • Level0.jpg (Approved) 
  • Level1.jpg (Status 1)  
  • Level2.jpg (Status 2)  
  • Level3.jpg (Status 3)  
  • Level4.jpg (External)

Survey articles


Ancient writers

Homer: (fl. 9th or 8th century BCE) Greek poet, to whom is traditionally attributed the authorship of the Iliad and the Odyssey. [e]
Aeschylus: (525-456 BC) Greek tragedian, considered to be the father of Greek tragic drama; wrote Agamemnon and The Eumenides. [e]
Aristophanes: (ca 450 - 388? BC) Greek comic dramatist; wrote The Clouds and Lysistrata. [e]
Euripides: (484? - 406 BC) Greek tragic dramatist, one of the three great tragedians of ancient Greece; wrote The Bacchae, Electra, and The Trojan Women. [e]
Sophocles: (496? - 406 BC) One of the three great Greek tragedians; wrote Electra, Oedipus the King, and Antigone. [e]

New Stub Ovid: (43BC-AD17) (Publius Ovidius Naso), Roman poet, author of Metamorphoses and Ars Amatoria. [e]

Stub Virgil: (70-19 BC) Roman poet; wrote the Aeneid, one of the masterpieces of world literature. [e]

Medieval writers

New Stub Dante Alighieri: (1265-1321) Italian poet who wrote the monumental epic the Divine Comedy. [e]

Developed Article Geoffrey Chaucer: (1345-1400) English poet, author of The Canterbury Tales. [e]
Stub Gottfried von Straßburg: German poet of the early thirteenth century, considered one of the masters of the high courtly literature of the era, famous as the author of the epic poem Tristan and Isolde. [e]

New Developing Article Hartmann von Aue: (c. 1160/65 – c. 1210) was a German medieval author of epic poetry, one of the three most important poets of German courtly literature of the Middle Ages (with Wolfram von Eschenbach and Gottfried von Strassburg) [e]

Stub Omar Khayyam: Persian mathematician, astronomer and poet who died in 1131. [e]
Developing Article Petrarch: (1304–74) Italian poet, humanist and essayist, and one of the most important intellectual figures of the early Renaissance. [e]
Chrétien de Troyes: Add brief definition or description
Wolfram von Eschenbach: Add brief definition or description

Children's and young adult literature

Dr. Seuss: (Theodor Seuss Geisel, 1904-91) Extremely popular American writer of children's books, including books designed to teach reading. [e]
Stub Hans Christian Andersen: (1805-75) Danish author of fairy tales. [e]
Stub Rudyard Kipling: (1865-1936) British poet, short story writer, and novelist, though best known for his children's classics, the Just So Stories and the Jungle Books. [e]
Developing Article Lewis Carroll: The pen-name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832-1898), British mathematician and author of children's books (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass, The Hunting of the Snark). [e]
Brüder Grimm: (Brothers Grimm), Jacob and Wilhelm, German linguists, famous for their collection of fairy tales (Kinder- und Hausmärchen, 1812-1815) and their German dictionary [e]

Science-fiction writers

Stub Isaac Asimov: (1920-92) American chemist and prolific author, especially of science fiction. [e]
Margaret Atwood: (1939 - ) Canadian poet, literary critic, essayist, and writer of novels with an emphasis on feminism as well as Canadian nationalism and identity. [e]
Stub Arthur C. Clarke: (1917-2008) British futurist and author of science fiction. [e]
Developing Article Robert A. Heinlein: (1907–88) American author of science fiction; wrote Stranger in a Strange Land. [e]
Developing Article Ursula K. Le Guin: (1929-) American novelist and poet, best known for her work in science fiction and fantasy. [e]
Stanisław Lem: (1921-2006) Polish science-fiction author (Solaris) [e]
Larry Niven: (born April 30, 1938) American author of hard science fiction, such as the Ringworld series. [e]
Jack Vance: (1916 – 2013) American writer of science fiction, fantasy, and mysteries who achieved cult-like status. [e]
Developing Article Jules Verne: (1828-1905) French author and science-fiction pioneer, some of whose novels involved travel through outer space and under water before technology had made these possible, and whose work has been widely translated and made into a number of films. [e]

New Stub H.G. Wells: (1866–1946) English author best known for his pioneering science-fiction novels; wrote The Time Machine. [e]

Philip K. Dick: (1928-1982) American author of science-fiction stories and novels [e]

American writers

New Washington Irving: (1783-1859) American writer, considered the first American man of letters, best known for his short stories, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle. [e]

James Fenimore Cooper: (1789-1851) The first major American novelist, most famous for his adventuresome Leather-Stocking Tales set in the American frontier. [e]
Ralph Waldo Emerson: (1803-82) American poet, essayist, and lecturer; leading exponent of New England transcendentalism. [e]
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: (1807-82) US poet and essayist whose ballads and versus made him the best-loved American poet of the 19th century. [e]
Developing Article Henry David Thoreau: (1817-62) New England transcendentalist philosopher, naturalist, and writer; one of key inspirations for the modern conservation movement. [e]
Stub Nathaniel Hawthorne: (1804-64) American novelist and short story writer, best known for The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables. [e]
Herman Melville: (1819-91) American fiction writer, author of Moby Dick, one of the masterpieces of world literature. [e]
Stub Louisa May Alcott: (1832-88) American writer; best known for her autobiographical novel Little Women. [e]
Emily Dickinson: (1830-86) American poet whose poetry, exhibiting great originality in thought and form, has been a major influence on modern poetry. [e]
Developing Article Edgar Allan Poe: (1809–1849) American poet, short story writer, playwright, editor, critic, essayist, and one of the most prominent figures in the American Romantic Movement in literature. [e]
Stub Mark Twain: (1835-1910) Pen name of Samuel Clemens, a leading American novelist and humorist of the late 19th century. [e]

New Stub Willa Cather: (1873-1947) American writer who wrote several novels portraying frontier life on the Great Plains of America in the late 19th century, among them O Pioneers! and My Ántonia. [e]

Stub Robert Frost: (1874-1963) American lyric poet who drew his inspiration from nature and the New England countryside. [e]
Ernest Hemingway: (1899-1961) American writer, author of The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms. and For Whom the Bell Tolls. [e]
External Article John Steinbeck: (1902–1968) One of the best known and most widely read American writers of the 20th century; wrote Grapes of Wrath. [e]
William Faulkner: (1897-1962) US writer who wrote about the American South; wrote The Sound and the Fury and Absalom, Absalom!. [e]
Stub Vladimir Nabokov: (1899-1977) Russian-American novelist and poet; wrote Lolita and Pale Fire. [e]
Toni Morrision: (1931-) American writer, winner of Nobel Prize, whose novels explore the African-American experience; author of Song of Solomon. [e]
Thornton Wilder: (1897-1975) American author of plays (Our Town) and novels (The Bridge of San Luis Rey and Ides of March) [e]
Stub Arthur Miller: (1915-2005), American author of plays (All My Sons, Death of a Salesman, A View from the Bridge) and films (The Misfits) [e]
John Updike: (1932-2009) American author of novels, short stories, and poetry. Most famous for his five Rabbit novels (1960-2001) [e]
Stub Ezra Pound: (1885-1972) American 20th century poet, author of The Cantos. [e]

English writers

Stub Jane Austen: English novelist (1775-1817), author of Pride and Prejudice and other novels. [e]
Developing Article William Blake: (1757-1827) was an English poet and artist, posthumously seen as one of the leading figures of the Romantic Movement. [e]
Charlotte Brontë: (1816-55) English novelist who wrote Jane Eyre. [e]
Emily Brontë: (1818-48) English writer who wrote Wuthering Heights. [e]
Developing Article Robert Browning: (7 May 1812 – 12 December 1889) English poet and playwright best known for his dramatic monologues. [e]
Stub John Bunyan: (1628-88) English Puritan minister and writer; wrote The Pilgrim's Progress. [e]
Stub Samuel Taylor Coleridge: (Oct. 21, 1772 - July 25, 1834) Romantic poet and critic, colleague of William Wordsworth. [e]
Joseph Conrad: (1857-1924) Polish-British novelist and short story writer; wrote Lord Jim and The Secret Agent. [e]
Developed Article Charles Dickens: (1812-70) English novelist and social critic; wrote the semi-autobiographical David Copperfield. [e]
Developing Article John Donne: English metaphysical poet (1572-1631). [e]
Developing Article T.S. Eliot: (1888-1965) British-American 20th century poet who wrote The Waste Land and Four Quartets. [e]
Stub Thomas Hardy: (2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928) Author of the Wessex novels and poet [e]
Developing Article Samuel Johnson: (1709-1784) One of the leading figures of English literature's Augustan Age. [e]
Stub John Keats: (31 October 1795 - 23 February 1821) Despite his death from tuberculosis at the age of 25, one of the major poets of the English Romantic Movement. [e]
Stub Rudyard Kipling: (1865-1936) British poet, short story writer, and novelist, though best known for his children's classics, the Just So Stories and the Jungle Books. [e]
Stub John Milton: English 17th-century poet, author of Paradise Lost. [e]
George Orwell: (1903-50) Pen name of Eric Arthur Blair, a British novelist best known for his political works Animal Farm and 1984. [e]
Developed Article William Shakespeare: (1564- 1616) English poet and playwright. [e]
Developing Article George Bernard Shaw: (1856 - 1950) Irish playwright, writer, socialist propagandist, and art, music and drama critic who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1925. [e]
Developing Article Percy Bysshe Shelley: (1792-1822) English poet, major exponent of the romantic movement. [e]
Developing Article Alfred, Lord Tennyson: (6 August 1809 – 6 October 1892) Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom, author of The Charge of the Light Brigade and Ulysses. [e]
Stub Oscar Wilde: (1854–1900) Irish poet, author, and playwright; wrote The Picture of Dorian Gray. [e]
Virginia Woolf: (1882-1941) Feminist author, essayist, and critic wrote A Room of One’s Own (1929) [e]
Developed Article William Wordsworth: (7 April 1770 - 23 April 1850) One of the leading English romantic poets. [e]

French writers

Albert Camus: (1913-60) Algerian-French existentialist philosopher and novelist; classic quote is "The only serious philosophical problem is that of suicide" (i.e., is life meaningful?) [e]
Guy de Maupassant: Add brief definition or description
Developing Article Alexandre Dumas: (1806-1876) Writer of iconic French literature, including The Three Musketeers; usually suffixed "père" to distinguish him from his namesake son, always suffixed "fils", who was also a major French writer. [e]
Developing Article Victor Hugo: Victor-Marie Hugo (1802-1885), poet, novelist and playwright, was the dominant French writer of the 19th century, and also a considerable political figure. [e]
Jean Baptiste Moliere: (January 15, 1622 - February 17, 1673) French playwright and actor, known for his comedies. [e]
Developing Article Marcel Proust: (1871-1922) French writer, famous for the largely autobiographical novel À la recherche du temps perdu. [e]
Jean Racine: French playwright and poet, 1639—1690. [e]
Stub George Sand: (1804-76). The male pen-name of the female romantic writer, Aurore Dupin, baronne Dudevant. [e]
Stendhal: Pen name of Marie-Henri Beyle (1783–1842), French author of Le Rouge et le Noir (The Red and the Black) and La Chartreuse de Parme (The Charterhouse of Parma) [e]
Stub Voltaire: The pen-name of François-Marie Arouet (1694-1778), a French writer and philosopher, who was one of the leading figures of The Enlightenment. [e]
Developing Article Honoré de Balzac: (20 May 1799 – 18 August 1850) French novelist and playwright, famous for writing over 100 novels and plays on life collectively entitled La Comédie humaine. [e]
François Rabelais: (1483/94-1553) French author of a series of novels on Gargantua and Pantagruel [e]
Georges Perec: (1936-1982) French author of novels and texts full of various types of word play [e]

German writers

Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen: (1621-1676), German author of the first important novel in New High German, Der abenteuerliche Simplicissimus Teutsch (1668) [e]
Bertolt Brecht: (February 19, 1898 - August 14, 1956) Playwright and theatre theorist, known for his political (specifically Marxist) plays. [e]

New Stub Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: (1749 - 1832) German writer, poet, and philosopher; still considered the greatest writer of German literature [e]

Theodor Fontane: Add brief definition or description
Stub Thomas Mann: (6 June 1875 – 12 August 1955) was a German author, social critic, and 1929 Nobel Prize Laureate, known for the novels Buddenbrooks, The Magic Mountain, and the short story Death in Venice. [e]
Heinrich Heine: Add brief definition or description
Johann Nestroy: Add brief definition or description
Friedrich Schiller: Add brief definition or description
Arno Schmidt: Add brief definition or description
Arthur Schnitzler: Add brief definition or description
Günter Grass: Add brief definition or description
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing: Add brief definition or description
Heinrich von Kleist: Add brief definition or description
Gerhart Hauptmann: Add brief definition or description
Rainer Maria Rilke: (1875,Prag-1926) German poet from the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy, famous for his Duineser Elegien (Duino Elegies) and the novel Die Aufzeichnungen des Malte Laurids Brigge (The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge) [e]
E.T.A. Hoffmann: Add brief definition or description
Paul Celan: (1920-1970) Pen name of Paul Antschel, important German-language poet born in Romania [e]

Irish writers

James Joyce: (1882-1941) Irish novelist who portrayed life in Ireland in The Dubliners; also wrote Ulysses, often regarded as one of the 20th centuries greatest English language novels. [e]
Stub William Butler Yeats: (June 13 1865 – January 28 1939), the greatest lyric poet in English in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. [e]
Laurence Sterne: (1713-1768), Irish author and Anglican clergyman, best known for his novel The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman [e]
Stub Jonathan Swift: (1667-1745), Irish author, famous for his novel Gulliver's Travels [e]

Japanese writers

Ryunosuke Akutagawa: Add brief definition or description
Kobo Abe: (1924-1993) Japanese novelist and dramatist; wrote The Woman in the Dunes. [e]
Masuji Ibuse: (1898-1993) Japanese novelist and short story writer; wrote Black Rain. [e]
Kenzaburo Oe: (1935- ) Nobel prize winning Japanese novelist; wrote A Personal Matter and The Silent Cry. [e]
Natsume Soseki: (1867-1916) Japanese novelist; wrote Botchan, The Wayfarer, and Kokoro. [e]
Junichiro Tanizaki: (1886-1965) Japanese novelist, short story writer, and dramatist; wrote The Makioka Sisters and Some Prefer Nettles. [e]
Yukio Mishima: (1925-70) Japanese novelist who advocated a return to traditionalism; wrote Confessions of a Mask, and the tetralogy The Sea of Fertility; politically far-right; attempted nationalist coup and committed seppuku [e]
Matsuo Bashō: (1644-94) Japanese haiku poet, widely considered to be the most accomplished practitioner of the art form. [e]
Yasunari Kawabata: (1899-1972) Japanese novelist and winner of the Nobel Prize for literature; wrote Snow Country and The Sound of the Mountain. [e]

Russian writers

Anton Chekhov: Add brief definition or description
Fyodor Dostoevsky: (1821-81) Russian writer; wrote Crime and Punishment, The Possessed, The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov along with other well-known works. [e]
Nikolai Gogol: (1809-52) Russian Realist writer; wrote Dead Souls and The Overcoat. [e]
Maxim Gorky: (1868-1936) Russian novelist who promoted "Socialist Realism", the official school of Soviet literature and art. [e]
Mikhail Lermontov: (1814-41) Russian novelist and a leading Romantic poet; wrote A Hero of Our Time. [e]
Boris Pasternak: Add brief definition or description
Alexander Pushkin: Add brief definition or description
Alexander Solzhenitsyn: Add brief definition or description
Developing Article Leo Tolstoy: (1828-1910) A Russian author, often called the "greatest of all novelists"; wrote War and Peace. [e]
Ivan Turgenev: (1818-83) Russian novelist, dramatist, and short story writer who favored Westernization; wrote Fathers and Sons. [e]

Scottish writers

Developed Article Robert Burns: The National poet of Scotland (1759-96); writer of Auld Lang Syne. [e]
Stub Arthur Conan Doyle: (1859–1930) British author – of the Sherlock Holmes stories – and physician. [e]
Developed Article Walter Scott: (1771-1832) A prolific Scottish writer, considered the inventor of the genre of historical fiction; wrote the Waverley novels, romanticizing Scottish Highland culture. [e]

South African writers

Alan Paton: (1903-88) South African political activist and writer whose novel Cry, the Beloved Country focused international attention on apartheid. [e]

Spanish writers

Developing Article Miguel de Cervantes: (1547 – 1616)Spanish novelist, poet, playwright and soldier. [e]
Federico Garcia Lorca: Add brief definition or description
Calderón de la Barca: Add brief definition or description

Yiddish Writers

Isaac Bashevis Singer: (1904-1991) A Polish-born, Yiddish-language author of short stories, novels, and children's literature who was a leader of the Yiddish literary movement and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1978. [e]
Sholem Aleichem: (1859-1913) Pen name of Sholem Naumovich Rabinovich, a Russian-born, Yiddish-language humorist and author of short stories, novels, and plays, including Tevye der Milchiker (Tevye the Milkman), on which Fiddler on the Roof is based. [e]

Unsorted by nationality

Margaret Atwood: (1939 - ) Canadian poet, literary critic, essayist, and writer of novels with an emphasis on feminism as well as Canadian nationalism and identity. [e]
Henrik Ibsen: (1828-1906) Norwegian dramatist regarded as the founder of modern prose drama; wrote A Doll's House and An Enemy of the People. [e]
Developing Article August Strindberg: A Swedish writer and playwright (1849 - 1912). [e]
Giovanni Boccaccio: Add brief definition or description
George Eliot: Add brief definition or description
Stub Aldous Huxley: (1894-1963) British novelist best known for his dystopian novel Brave New World. [e]
Thomas Pynchon: Add brief definition or description
Developing Article Lord Byron: (January 22, 1788 - April 19, 1824), George Gordon Byron, English romantic poet, known not only for his poetry, but also his unconventional lifestyle and advocacy for Greek independence. [e]
Developing Article Umberto Eco: (1932- ) Italian novelist, humanist, columnist and professor of semiotics at the University of Bologna. [e]
Salman Rushdie: Indian-born novelist and essayist, best-known for his 1988 novel The Satanic Verses (born 1947). [e]

Literary genres

Literary motifs, styles, and techniques

Literary movements


Nota Bene: Please list here only those works of exceptional importance whose authorship is either unknown or about whose author very little is known.

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