Monday, February 9, 2009
After reading this article from The Bachelor, I feel that the question, “Where Did All the Great Books Go?” can only be answered with, “They have been here, and will be here.” Colloquium is a forum for discussion of great works of literature, both old and new. To say that the list, “… devolves into authors with hardly a shred of historical significance” (The Bachelor 5) is presumptuous. Going from these well-known authors to these up and coming ones is only natural. Not only have these men of the past given us wonderful works to ponder and read, but these new voices must be heard. We students do not determine the canon, but we try and put our trust in our professors to choose works that will help us become better people and make us think, for that is our mission. It is naïve to think that only dead white men are worthy of praise. These authors, Gubar, Walcott, Nabokov, Szymborska, and Murakami are praise-worthy and great writers not because of awards, but of the heart and understanding they have put into their books, poems, stories, etc. Diversification of the canon is key to bringing greater exposure of ideas, backgrounds, and lives to the world stage. We are becoming so much more connected every day and arguing that these writers are not worthy of note is rather short-sighted. Because of these authors, I feel that my life has been and will be enriched by exposure to their writings. Many people will never hear of these authors but they must still be remembered for perhaps one day they will be read around the world, and all it takes is one person to distribute their name. Who determines what makes a classic? If it pulls at me and brings me joy, then let these names be brought forth and my ignorance of them be dashed on the rocks. The canon is a living thing and not to stay stagnant through time.