belles-lettres

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belles-lettres

(bĕl-lĕ`trə) [from the French for literature, literally "fine letters"], literature that is appreciated for the beauty, artistry, and originality of its style and tone rather than for its ideas and informational content. Earlier the term was synonymous with literature, referring particularly to fiction, poetry, drama, criticism, and essays. However, belletristic literature has come to mean light, artificial writing and essays extolling the beauties of literature.

belles-lettres

literary works, esp essays and poetry, valued for their aesthetic rather than their informative or moral content
References in periodicals archive ?
It ranged from handbooks to works of poetry and was written either by professional guidebook makers or, more often than not, by novelists and belletrists living it up in foreign parts and making a little money on the side.
Thus, flamenco music is a multilayered phenomenon that cannot be reduced (just to give an example) to its Oriental influences (the scales are indeed similar to those of North African music and the cante can be compared with synagogue chanting) and the primitivist, unscientific approach of belletrists (even when they are first-class poets like Federico Garcia Lorca).
Many of these essays, coming as they do from the pens of journalists, novelists and belletrists are urbane and unstuffy.
In fact, even committed students often have problems with finding academic publications on Yiddish belletrists.