Originated from the Greek term “kanon,” canon means “a yard stick,” or “a measuring rod.” Generally, the term canon is used in three different meanings. 11. a member of a religious community living under common rules and bound by vows. In other words, it means “a long list of works taken as authentic.”. Jane Austen is one of those female writers who came to the limelight by breaking all the traditional and conventional shackles. What is the difference between cannon and canon? Though modern canons of literature have traditionally been set by universities or other official bodies, there is no authoritative body that scholars know today from ancient Egypt that would have designated an Egyptian literary canon. More often than not, it is those works that are considered contextually relevant that gain entry into the canon. 1. countable noun A canon is a member of the clergy who is on the staff of a cathedral. Literary canons, like the works that comprise them and the judgments of those who create them, are constantly changing. The third definition of the term indicates the literary writings of a particular author, which are considered by scholars and critics in general to be the genuine creations of that particular author. This is based on some already deduced rules intended to be applied on the future pieces in the same genre. A literary canon is a classification of literature. There is discord, political posturing and perennial arguments about the ‘literary canon‘. This means that the literary work is relevant to ongo… Sometimes within religious traditions, as views evolve or change, some formerly canonical texts become "apocryphal," meaning outside the realm of what's considered representative. A literary canon is a group or body of related literary works, often sanctioned by an authority. the body of ecclesiastical law. All Rights Reserved. The Egyptian Literary Canon Definition. It is compromised of literary works that share similar or related characteristics and are considered to be the most important of a specific time frame or place. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Hence, a number of critical circles suggest that the idea of having specific canons for specific genres needs to be abandoned. The characteristic that has earned Melville a place in the literary canon, though, is not his stylistic skill, but rather, like Dickinson and Hawthorne, the selection of his subject. The Western Literary Canon is still essential for required reading in school because of how it has pervaded all aspects of our culture. Synonym Discussion of canon. There should be little debate. Some apocryphal works are never granted formal acceptance but are influential nevertheless. Used quite often in fan fiction to differentiate between the official storyline in which the fan fiction is based on. In fiction and literature, the canon is the collection of works considered representative of a period or genre. Definition of Canon. b : the authentic works of a writer the Chaucer canon. Another word for official. Generally, the term canon is used in three different meanings. Definition: Any Shmoop scholar worth his or her salt knows all about the western literary canon. 2. countable noun A canon of texts is a list of them that is accepted as genuine or important. Countless phrases and terms we use every day, such as “Trojan Horse,” “Sisyphean,” “star-crossed lovers,” and “Dickensian,” came from the Western Literary Canon. The characteristic that has earned Melville a place in the literary canon, though, is not his stylistic skill, but rather, like Dickinson and Hawthorne, the selection of his subject. This statement should appear self-evident. However, canon is a literary rule that is used to evaluate books and writings against certain models, such as plays are evaluated against Oedipus the King by Sophocles, where Oedipus the King is a yardstick which has set canons for plays. The definition of literary canon Greek origins of the word kanon; Classification of works within the literary canon Another name for literary canon Authors included in the literary canon Just as controversial as the discussions engendered about the canon, so too is the definition. One of the definitions is, “the books of the Bible officially recognized by the Church,”. The function of a canon has always raised confusion and complexity. 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. It is also described as “a basis for judgment; standard; criterion.”. T he widely debated term ‘literary canon’ is used to classify a group of literary works that are considered the most important from a certain time or place. For instance, Walt Whitman's epic poem "Song of Myself" is now viewed as a seminal work of gay literature. Originated from the Greek term “kanon,” canon means “a yard stick,” or “a measuring rod.”. 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 aspects of that genre. This is especially true of female writers such as Charlotte Bronte ("Jane Eyre"), Jane Austen ("Pride and Prejudice"), Emily Dickinson ("Because I Could Not Stop for Death"), and Virginia Woolf ("A Room of One's Own"). For many decades, English writers compared themselves with Shakespeare. When considering the term “literary canon,” one is ultimately considering the whole of the seminal works in the arts that have come to define a genre. In religious terms, a canon is a standard of judgment or a text containing those views, such as the Bible or the Koran. But, of course, there is a great deal of debate. Their literary works obtain in themselves the position of literary canon which the successive writers use as touchstone to compare their creations with. The works, traditionally considered as following a certain canon, belong to the writers who have long been dead. 4 a : an accepted principle or rule. But lesser-known writers of the past, such as William Blake and Matthew Arnold, have faded in relevance, replaced by modern counterparts like Ernest Hemingway ("The Sun Also Rises"), Langston Hughes ("Harlem" ), and Toni Morrison ("Beloved"). The American literary canon, or the books deemed important enough to teach in schools and survive over generations, is a fraught subject. By studying canonical works of the past, we gain a new appreciation for them from a modern perspective. he American Heritage Dictionary . And the … Derived from the Greek word kan ôn meaning measuring rod or standard, the canon has been compiled by literary critics, scholars and teachers over time in order to assert which works of literature are ‘essential’. The issue of canonical literature is a thorny one. The American literary canon, or the books deemed important enough to teach in schools and survive over generations, is a fraught subject. Over time, some works become less pertinent in the canon as they're replaced by more modern counterparts. Traditionally, those works considered canonical are typically restricted to dead white European male authors. It is intended for use in an introductory literature course. “In a summer season when soft was the sun, I clothed myself in a cloak as I shepherd were, Habit like a hermit’s unholy in works, And went wide in the world  wonders to hear. Derived from the Greek word kan ôn meaning measuring rod or standard, the canon has been compiled by literary critics, scholars and teachers over time in order to assert which works of literature are ‘essential’. There have been countless discussions launched about the need to teach the historically accepted literary pieces included in the canon. For example, the Bible – both written in Hebrew, and even translated … Paper type: Essay: Pages: 2 (268 words) Downloads: 41: Views: 149: A literary canon is a classification of literature. Homer, and the other writers inspired by him, have made their way to the list of the greatest literary brains of the world since antiquity – only by following the literary canons of writing. Countless phrases and terms we use every day, such as “Trojan Horse,” “Sisyphean,” “star-crossed lovers,” and “Dickensian,” came from the Western Literary Canon. This video covers what the literary canon is and perspectives about what to include and why. How the Canon Changes Literature, therefore, changes in the context of changing experience and thought. Topics: Novel, Literature, Genre Pages: 1 (267 words) Published: November 25, 2012. I’ve a theory about this, which applies not just to the literary canon but to great art and thought in general. Take a 19th century American literature course, for instance. In fiction and literature, the canon is the collection of works considered representative of a period or genre. Shakespeare and Chaucer are part of the canon of Western literature, so you might read their work in an English class.
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