The events he narrates take place in the few days between the end of the fall school term and Christmas, when Holden is sixteen years old. At Pencey, he has failed four out of five of his classes and has received notice that he is being expelled, but he is not scheduled to return home to Manhattan until Wednesday. He visits his elderly history teacher, Spencer, to say goodbye, but when Spencer tries to reprimand him for his poor academic performance, Holden becomes annoyed.
These are valid questions. Literary snack food has its place. In the same way, how often you like to push the boundaries of your literary palate with exotic fare is up to you. This kind of problem arises routinely whenever a society fulfills two criteria.
The second is that it has a rich enough literary culture that members of subculture A have next to no reading material in common with subculture B. Mutual incomprehension is the usual result. That is to say, the way to avoid mutual incomprehension is to have a canon.
A canon, in this sense of the word, is a collection of works by dead people that everyone reads, discusses, and thinks about in the course of their schooling. There are three characteristics of a canon that deserve attention here. Who makes these decisions?
In any canon there are certain works that everyone, or nearly everyone, agrees on, certain others that are less unanimously included, and a fringe of works that this or that subculture of fans consider to be canon fodder and everybody else dismisses.
This allows the canon to shape itself, and reshape itself, as an organic expression of the experience of a community. Finally, a canon is always unfair.
Factors other than literary merit and relevance have their inevitable roles, too, ranging from ethnic, gender, and class prejudice all the way to temporary vagaries of cultural taste that make the appeal of this or that literary gimmick irresistible for a while, and incomprehensible thereafter.
Now of course the inevitable unfairness of a canon is one of the standard points raised by those who insist that having a canon is a Bad Thing, and that canons of literature should therefore be abolished. Pay attention, though, to what inevitably happens thereafter.
So a canon is always changing, always contested, and always unfair. None of these things keeps it from doing its job, which is that of providing a basis for shared understanding in a society diverse enough to require that. The current bickering between the political correctness of the left and the patriotic correctness of the right is a familiar phenomenon in cultural history.
One of the great advantages of having a canon is that it makes it a lot easier to filter out trash.
Even in the most brilliant of literary cultures, a century might see a dozen genuine masterworks and a couple of hundred really good pieces of writing. Mark Twain once did the world a favor by exhuming one of these last, an otherwise forgotten midth century American novel, The Enemy Conquered; or, Love Triumphant by Samuel Watson Royston.
In most cases, this is exactly what they deserve.Reviews, essays, books and the arts: the leading international weekly for literary culture. Lily, Lindy M.
Zart Underwater Homes, Therese Hopkins Bulgarian Horrors and the Question of the East (), William Ewart Gladstone By Stroke of Sword - A Romance Taken from the Chronicles of Sir Jeremy Clephane (), Jeremy Clephane, Judas Fraser, Andrew Balfour. Last week’s post on the spooky dimensions of reading—the one-on-one encounter, in the silent places of the mind, with another person’s thinking—sparked a lively discussion on the comments page, and no shortage of interesting questions.
The Holy Bible: King James Version. Luke 1. Dedication to Theophilus: 1: Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us.
Most Common Text: Click on the icon to return to leslutinsduphoenix.com and to enjoy and benefit. the of and to a in that is was he for it with as his on be at by i this had not are but from or have an they which one you were all her she there would their we him been has when who will no more if out so up said what its about than into them can only other time new some could these two may first then do.
The Death Of Honesty By William Damon - William Damon, a professor of education at Stanford University, analyzes the value of honesty and the ways in which people in our current society may be falling short of or disrespecting the moral and ethical responsibility of honesty.