The Literary Canon: What’s In It, and Who Makes the List?
What is the literary canon, and who decides what makes the list? Is there even a list? In this post, we’ll answer those questions and more, as well as look at how this standard can be problematic for some readers.
What Is the Literary Canon?
The literary canon is a subset of the larger “canon,” which is a list of the most important, influential, or definitive works in art, literature, music, and philosophy, and is derived from an ancient Greek word for a measuring rod or standard.
Who Decides What’s In the Canon?
The canon represents our collective idea of what books you need to know in order to have a high-quality education. Canons are subjective and determined by a select few: high schools, universities, critics, or respected institutions determine their own canons.
What Books Are Part of the Literary Canon?
When looking at a specific time period or location, canons are easier to define. The literary canon includes writers from ancient times to the late twentieth century, and the following are just a few examples of books that are generally considered part of the literary canon. In high school Lit classes, students studied works by Hawthorne, Twain, and Fitzgerald.
Debate Over the Canon
Early canonizers were clergymen, and they were often older, almost always white clergymen. We still have a long way to go if we want our concept of classic, essential works to reflect diversity.
What makes a book part of the literary canon?
The literary canon can be defined narrowly as that which is accepted as authentic (as in distinguishing canonical from apocryphal works in relation to the Bible or Shakespeare), but it is more commonly defined as that which is assumed to be ‘good’ literature, if not the ‘best’.
What authors are included in the literary canon?
The literary canon includes writers from antiquity to the late twentieth century; in 1994, literary critic Harold Bloom published The Western Canon, in which he named 26 “immortal” authors, including Homer, William Shakespeare, and Virginia Woolf.
How many books are in the cannon?
The Hebrew canon has a total of 24 books, which refers to the sum of the individual scrolls on which these works were traditionally written in ancient times.
What is literary canon example?
The American canon, which includes works like The Scarlet Letter and The Great Gatsby, and the Romantic English poetry canon, which includes poets like Blake, Wordsworth, and Keats, are examples of this. However, there has been a shift in opinion towards the canon since the 1960s.
Is 1984 in the literary canon?
The Great Gatsby, To Kill a Mockingbird, 1984, and Frankenstein are examples of literary canons.
Who decides the canon?
Headcanon is your personal interpretation, but it should not contradict actual canon. Canon is determined by the author/owner of the IPs (or any 3rd parties granted permission to write extended canon).
What is the English literary canon?
The literary canon is frequently understood to refer to a group of authors or works that academics, historians, and teachers agree are worthy of study: these are the texts that are regularly in print, are studied for school exams and in universities, and have’status.’
Is Harry Potter in the literary canon?
It’s difficult to imagine a time when children’s literature was a fledgling genre with limited distribution, especially in light of the Potter books’ ubiquity.
Do we need a literary canon?
The existence of a canon is essential to a culture because it means that people share a set of references and resonances, as well as a public vocabulary of narratives and discourse.u201d However, he claims that multiculturalism and technology, particularly satellite television and the internet, are destroying this shared inheritance.
What books to read if you like a professor?
How to Read Literature Like a Professor is a New York Times bestseller by Thomas C. Foster, published in 2003, that offers interpretations of common themes, concepts, and symbols found in literature.
Who decided what books go in the Bible?
Eusebius, a Christian historian who lived in the early 300s, provided one of the first lists of which books were considered legitimate and which were borderline bogus, categorizing them as recognized, disputed, spurious, and heretical.
What is canon short for?
The material accepted as officially part of the story in an individual universe of that story by its fan base is known as canon in fiction, and it is frequently contrasted with, or used as the basis for, works of fan fiction.
Does the literary canon change?
Literary canons, like the works that make them up and the opinions of those who create them, are always evolving, and literature is influenced by the experiences and thoughts of both writers and readers.
How do you use the word canon?
When discussing accepted and authentic texts or information, use canon, and when discussing a weapon of war, use cannon.
- Canon refers to a set of agreed-upon rules or writings by authorities. Cannon also refers to a long, tubular mounted gun that fires heavy projectiles.