ML as a 'canon'?

Scot Kamins kamins at dogeared.com
Thu Apr 12 15:41:24 EDT 2001


 In your recent e-mail  you said (in part):

>she does grump
>about the fact that they are mostly 'dead white
>guys.'  This did, I tell her, reflect the status
>of the 'canon' at the time (20s, 30s, 40s, 50s).

Yeah. Look at the aforementioned (or at least referenced) "Great Books 
[sic] of the Western World" or Harvard Classics - same thing, without any 
20th century writers (to speak of) at all.

>But more to the point: I am not sure you could
>consider the ML at any particular time to be "the
>canon" or even a particularly great 'canon.'  

Well, there certainly was a lot of junk; but with it came most of the 
classics and a decent smattering of new stuff. Of course, the non-white 
world was only given nodding  inclusion, as your wife so correctly (if 
annoyingly) argues.

>...Reading the ML
>provides you with at best a quirky 'liberal arts'
>education, based on the dictates of the market,
>fighting among rival publishers, copyright
>restrictions, and the personal quirks of the folks
>at Random House.

I'll retract my statement about getting a decent education from reading 
the series.

[::Dorks. They're all dorks.::]



     `\|||/                     Scot Kamins
      (@@)
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