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Literary Canon: Definition & Authors

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Literary Canon Defined

Definition of Canon
Difference Between Canon and Apocrypha
Canon: Dictionary Definitions

In the early twentieth century, the American and English literary canons were challenged in the United States by Jewish scholars like Oscar Handlin and Lionel Trilling who were Ivy League intellectuals.

Similarly in the s there were significant cultural changes which brought issues concerning women, gays, minorities and Marxist liberals in the focus of literary writings.

A literary work gains popularity not only on the basis of its quality but more importantly on the relevance of the literary work in the social, historical and cultural context of the period. Accordingly literary works may get included or excluded in the literary canon.

Works of fiction including poetry, epic poems, drama, music, novels and other forms of literature reflecting the culture of a place can find a place in the literary canon.

Generally scholars, literary critics, teachers and influential and qualified persons whose opinions are revered have a major say on the works that can be included in a literary canon. Interestingly a number of non-fiction works relating to politics, history, economics, philosophy, science, mythology and religion, also find place in a literary canon.

Print Email Save Image Credit: Content What is the American Literary Canon? How do Literary Canons evolve? View the discussion thread. What are the Characteristics of a Good Literary Villain? Who is Robert Burns? How are some Novels given the Status as Classic Novels? Ecclesiastical Terms Christianity a Church decree enacted to regulate morals or religious practices. Ecclesiastical Terms a list of writings, esp sacred writings, officially recognized as genuine.

Classical Music a piece of music in which an extended melody in one part is imitated successively in one or more other parts. See also round 31 , catch Ecclesiastical Terms one of several priests on the permanent staff of a cathedral, who are responsible for organizing services, maintaining the fabric, etc.

See canon 1 , -ic ]. Switch to new thesaurus. North America - a continent the third largest in the western hemisphere connected to South America by the Isthmus of Panama. A principle governing affairs within or among political units: Kanon Regel Domherr Heiligenverzeichnis. Joan of Arc was canonized in References in classic literature?

These completed, and the two alone again, it was pleasant to see or would have been, if there had been any one to see it, which there never was , the old lady standing to say the Lord's Prayer aloud, and her son, Minor Canon nevertheless, standing with bent head to hear it, he being within five years of forty: Nothing is prettier, thought the good Minor Canon frequently, when taking his seat at table opposite his long-widowed mother.

The quick travellers came up with the slow, and courteous salutations were exchanged; and one of the new comers, who was, in fact, a canon of Toledo and master of the others who accompanied him, observing the regular order of the procession, the cart, the officers, Sancho, Rocinante, the curate and the barber, and above all Don Quixote caged and confined, could not help asking what was the meaning of carrying the man in that fashion; though, from the badges of the officers, he already concluded that he must be some desperate highwayman or other malefactor whose punishment fell within the jurisdiction of the Holy Brotherhood.


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The term “canon” is also confused with a homonym “cannon,” which means “a military weapon.” Difference Between Canon and Apocrypha. Apocrypha is also a literary term, which means “hidden,” or “anonymous literary pieces,” which were considered not to have confirmed to the rules set by the written Bible, in Hebrew or in Latin.

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The literary canon is a collection of works by which others are measured in terms of literary skill and value. Derived from the Greek kanôn ('straight rod'), the term 'canon' has been used to classify works belonging to either a particular tradition (i.e. Biblical) or author (i.e. Shakespearean).

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Sep 07,  · The term "literary canon" refers to a classification of literature. It is a term used widely to refer to a group of literary works that are considered the most important of a . In fiction and literature, the canon is the collection of works considered representative of a period or genre. The collected works of William Shakespeare, for instance, would be part of the canon of western literature, since his writing and writing style has had a significant impact on nearly all.

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A group of literary works that are generally accepted as representing a field: "the durable canon of American short fiction" (William Styron). b. The works of a writer that have been accepted as authentic: the entire Shakespeare canon. As the term is ordinarily used, "literary canon" is defined by definition #7 above: "an authoritative list, as of the works of an author." Yet the sense of definition #3 ("standard, criterion") is also strongly implied as the means by which individual works find their way into the literary canon.