Literary tradition is the passing down of stories which give meaning to human experiences, according to Literary Articles. Every linguistic group has a literary tradition, which is transmitted either orally or through writing.
Literary traditions can be categorized as national, formal or periodic. For example, a national tradition is the literary tradition of China; a formal tradition is China's poetic tradition; and a periodic tradition is China's ancient literary tradition.
Each grouping of literary tradition has specific commonalities of form, subject matter, themes and worldview, among other factors. Literary traditions of one time period potentially shape later literary traditions. For example, the Western literary tradition was largely influenced by the Bible and by ancient Greek and Roman literature.