Essay on A Reflection On The Canon

1006 Words Apr 29th, 2016 null Page
The Canon represents a reflection that English always has a social context and could never be done in a vacuum. It represents the meeting point between the judgment of the artistic (aesthetic) value of a text, and the interests of those who make those judgments and have the power to enforce them (critics, scholars, etc.). The Canon is the list of books you expect to study when you are doing English, and reading the Canon is doing English. Understanding and have a critical opinion about the books in it is doing English. The main three standards that a book should meet to be in the Canon, and therefore be studied, are: universal significance, positive values, and human significance. If a new book meets the same characteristics as an old one, that is already in the Canon, the new book is not added to the list; it just reaffirms the value of it. Canonical text come up again and again. As students, we expect to study texts we have heard of and assume are worthwhile. The more recent version of the Canon is “The Western Canon” from 1994 consisting of a list of 1000 books, that every ‘cultured’ person should read. Being on the list of the Canon offers status and accessibility to the public, and should pass certain criteria imposed by critics, scholars, anthropologies or museums. It makes the author’s work immortalised, and provides a high quality and authenticity of someone’s work. Although the list of canonical works is highly appreciated all over the world, it is also very sexist…

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