Though the concepts of literature and a literary work are fundamental in literary criticism, literary theory and literary aesthetics, there has up to now existed no sustained analysis of these concepts themselves and of how they govern our thinking about the phenomenon of literature. The articles in this collection represent an attempt to remedy this situation by focusing attention on the concept of literature and on the relationship it shares with the concepts of a literary work and a literary text. Adopting an analytic approach, the articles explore both: how these concepts can be turned into fruitful analytical tools; and the issues that arise when these concepts are employed as theoretical instruments for describing and analysing the phenomenon of literature.

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