Post a New Question


posted by on .

What is a good definition or meaning of linterary canon. I've read the definition in different books but i am still confused what does it mean. I need help understanding it and memorizing it.

Scroll down and read about canon (fiction).

One thing to remember about any literary canon, whether of American Lit, World Lit, or whatever, is that it's constantly being added to. It's never really static.


Do you mean that literary canon in literature would be consider wrightings of everything that is actually true. am i correct or wrong

From that website:
"The word 'canon' originally meant the books which the Catholic Church officially chose to be included in the Bible; by extension, it means the authoritative "holy writ" of a fictional universe. However, the practice of defining a "canon" within a fictional world derived from the concept of a literary canon, a specified collection of works considered to be both representative and the best of a particular form, genre or culture. In that more common use of the word, works forming a canon do not have to bear any relation to each other other than their high quality or historical influence."

What it comes down to is WHO DECIDES? For a long time, you could pretty much depend on any college-bound reading list to tell you what the accepted literary canon was in the US (e. g., ), but in more recent years, with the additional writings of Chinese-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Armenian-Americans, et al, the "list" has been much more fluid and harder to define specifically. I rather like it this way because I enjoy reading works, not only from the original canon as accepted around 1960, but also works by writers such as Sandra Cisneros, Amy Tan, and many others.

It's not an easy concept, nor is it easy to define. You can think of it as "the magic list" of what you should make sure you read as you prepare for college and life if you wish. But that's pretty simplistic for something so much in flux.



I agree with Writeacher that current "literary canon" is difficult to define and even harder to choose titles that meet literary standards. The phrase high quality or historical influence is probably the key concept in defining "literary canon."

To add to Writeacher's author list, I'd add Khaled Hosseini who has written two novels about life in Kabul, Afghanistan. These books hit home today as we mourn a young soldier from our town who was killed in Afghanistan.

Answer This Question

First Name:
School Subject:

Related Questions

More Related Questions

Post a New Question