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Friday, April 4, 2008

In order to say it better, we have to know how it was said before

Roger Shattuck and the 19 Theses on Literature
from The Daily Goose by Matthew

Here is a link to Bill Harryman’s excellent post introducing people like myself to the thought of Roger Shattuck. His work compels comment, which I hope to do this week or next. In the meantime, read Bill’s post, and Shattuck’s ideas, which grow out of this idea:
“Nineteen Theses” was written as a response to the attempts to dismiss literature as a central field of study and personal reward.
One note I’ll tack on now: regarding the controversy over “canon”, which Shattuck addresses to some extent. If we discard all definitions and criteria about what the “canon” is or should be — save for one, namely “those works that demonstrably inspired the human imagination, and works of fine art, across epochs” — we could easily avoid at least a great deal of disagreement that there is a “canon” at all, or that it has been used to repress anyone, a common yet silly complaint. 9:20 AM 9:00 AM

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