Knowing the etymological origin of the two words that shape the term that now concerns us is the first thing we are going to do:
-Description, in the first place, derives from Latin, exactly from “description”, which can be translated as “the action and the effect of writing on the way in which something is perceived”. It is the result of the sum of three components: the prefix “des-”, which means “from top to bottom”; the verb "scribere", which is synonymous with "write"; and the suffix "-cion", which is used to indicate "action and effect".
-Literary, secondly, also comes from Latin. In his case of "litterarius", which can be translated as "proper to writing and reading."
To understand what the notion of literary description , it is convenient to analyze the two terms that make up the expression. It is called description to a detailed enumeration of the characteristics of something or someone. The literary , for its part, is that linked to the literature : art developed through the use of language.
A literary description , therefore, is one that is oriented to the communication of perceived traits but seeking to provide a aesthetic delight through the use of various linguistic resources. In this way, the description is not only informative, but aims to generate a pleasant experience or wake up emotions .
A classic example of a literary description is that made by Spanish Juan Ramón Jiménez in its novel "Platero and me" . There the writer describes a donkey as "All cotton" and mentions that his eyes seem "Black glass beetles". The description, being literary, includes symbolic elements and rhetorical figures.
In order to carry out a good literary description it is necessary to make use of a series of resources or take into account these keys:
-It is important to resort to the use of explanatory adjectives.
-The language must be expressive.
-In the same way, it is essential to resort to the use of rhetorical figures such as comparisons or metaphors, among many others.
-The approach, as we have come to expose, can be surreal, impressionistic, exaggerated ...
It is important to keep in mind that the literary description is not objective, but plausible. Taking up the description presented in "Platero and me" , the reader should not assume that the animal of history is indeed of "cotton": This image has coherence and is descriptive if you think about the comparison between the texture that can be found on the body of a donkey and a cotton flake.
You can easily understand the scope of the idea of literary description if compared with other descriptions. A technical description of a television, to name a case, could indicate: “It is a device with 34-inch screen and WiFi connectivity”. A literary description, however, would indicate: "It is a rectangular creature that receives invisible signals".
In addition to everything indicated, we can expose that it is widely used both in poetry and in stories and in the novel. And not only that, it also aims to inform, but also generate an impact on the reader, so that he does not feel indifferent.