A literary text is a genre of literature that transmits a message artistically and creatively. Literary texts focus on both content and form. The authors of this kind of texts use a stylistic language and idiosyncratic style to present reality or tackle phenomena. Although literary texts have one common objective and work in the same way, there are different types of literary texts. Such these types are the narrative text, literary description, literary recount, personal response text, and finally the review text.
Starting by the narrative text, it can be defined as a text that tells a story using a series of events. Picture books, cartoons, fiction, and fairy tales are good examples of narrative texts. The author encodes his message in a given context. The latter usually consists of a setting, such as place and time, events of the story, characters, a situation, and a semantic field or what is called by the co-text. These aspects make the narrative text distinguishable from the descriptive text which describes people, characters, places, events and things in an imaginary way. Descriptive texts can present a specific and detailed description of some features, physical appearance, or landscapes and many other examples without even telling a story with events and situation.
Among other types of literary texts, there are literary recount and review. Literary recount works retell events from stories, plays, films, and personal experiences to entertain others. To make it more interesting as well as appealing, authors of literary recounts sequence their recounts starting by background information, then, describing the events in time order, and finally, they may end the retold story with a personal comment about the events or characters. Among the well-known recount works, there is the fairy tale of Gingerbread Man. On the other hand, a review text does not retell another text in different words, but it summarizes, analyzes, and assesses the appeal of a novel, play or film, to a broader audience. Reviews usually tend to describe features, such as characters, plot, situation, etc, that may or may not appeal to the reader. For instance, comments on books, films, and plays are an example of reviews. However, a review of a certain work differs from a personal response text. The latter is a literary text too, but, there is a slight difference between the two of them.
If a review is a text that provides a comment or an evaluation of the whole work, a personal response text gives a personal opinion on a novel or play or film focusing only on parts of a specific passage. This entails a description of how the reader feels about the elements of the context of a story and things that may or may not appeal to them. Personal responses can include questions like ‘what did you like about the artwork and why?’ ‘Describe why you do or you don’t like in the plot of the story…etc.?’
To conclude, literary texts can be represented in different types with different features and characteristics. However, they all share the same aspects of creativity, freedom of choice of the writer, features of innovation and power of imagination. It seems that literary works do not only entertain readers but also can be used as support to teach in schools. They can noticeably improve students’ level of creativity, imagination and intelligent quotient when it comes to language learning.