Hard to follow up such well written blogs, so I’m chumping out by using some evidence from the Text.
In the Introduction to Eagleton’s Literary Theory, he tackles the question of literature from the perspectives of predominate theories and movements, such as Formalism. I agree that the definition of literature is subjective and fluid. Eagleton observes that the Formalists recognize “…that “poetry” in this sense depends on where you happen to be standing at the time” (5). “But literature is usually judged to contain much besides poetry – to include, for example, realist or naturalistic writing which is not linguistically self-conscious or self-exhibiting in any striking way” (5,6). The colloquial language of Huck Finn is necessary in creating the context of the story. In this sense, however, it is poetic because its use in this Literature. Which came first, the writing or the meaning?
However, it is useful to apply some sort of boundaries: to weed out the Katy Perrys from the Animal Collectives. He brings up the problem of distinguishing Literary language from functional language.
“Any actual language consists of a highly complex range of discourses, differentiated according to class, region, gender, status and so on, which can by no means be neatly unified into a single homogeneous linguistic community” (4).
In accordance with Clint’s blog about Dr. Seuss, recognition of literature seems to more of a personal experience than anything else. In Eagleton’s words, “…literature may be at least as much a question of what people do to writing as of what writing does to them” (6).