posted by .

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.

Respond to this Question

First Name
School Subject
Your Answer

Similar Questions

  1. english

    I am having trouble with two words. Match the words to their definition. Recalcitrant Defiant A. Rebellious B. Extremely disobedient to the point of rebellion Thank you for using the Jiskha Homework Help Forum. When you find a word …
  2. english SAT vocab. multiple choice question

    The story deals with a king who is transformed from a ________ leader into a(n)________ tyrant whose thirst for power cannot be satiated. A. magnanimous.. depraved B. confused... acute C. sordid... benign D. licentious... nefarious …
  3. World Literature

    What literature do you consider to be part of the United States' current literary canon, and why?
  4. Art Appreciation

    On the internet, look up and list more than one definition of the word "art." You can use online reference sources Go to In quotation marks, type in "what is art?
  5. launguage arts

    What does Adhere mean?? stick to to stick to Here are some good online dictionaries you can use when you need them: =)
  6. English Be sure to read the entire section called Context. Make note of when she lived, when and where she was educated, when she published, etc. All those times can be cross referenced with a good timetable …
  7. literature

    we were ask to write an academic essay...i need to know about "horace as a satirist"...what are his contributions in literature?
  8. Literature

    What literature would be considered to be part of the United States' current literary canon?
  9. literature

    What literature would be considered to be part of the United States CURRENT literary canon. You asked this question yesterday and I'll give you the same answer: There is not one magic list. It doesn't exist.
  10. poetry

    a definition of formal poetry is verse that I think you're after definition #3 here. Then look up "meter" and "verse" -- =) …

More Similar Questions