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Lessons from AWP: There’s really no pot of gold on the other side of the wall

AWP was very revelatory. I went to a bunch of the popular fiction themed panels, just because that’s a place where I have a hand in. And at a few of them, I heard genre-affiliated people rail about how they don’t get any respect and how the literary establishment should let them in. That’s not […]

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Is there value to being locked out of the canon? (part two)

So, a few days ago, I wrote about the shadow canon and how I thought it served a valuable function by keeping literature honest and ensuring that there continues to be a place for populist aesthetics in literature. But I did not answer the question: “Is there a value to being locked out of the […]

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Is there a value to being locked out of the literary canon?

The literary canon is a body of ‘great’ literature created by a dialogue between college professors. These professors then the canon to college students. The college students disseminate the canon to the general public (largely through the medium of middle and high school English classes). The authority of the college professors is partly a result […]

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What does it mean to be against the canon?

I was reading Maria Bustillos’ review of some book*, and I came across this phrase: “For those who, like me, are generally opposed to canonical notions of literature, there will be much to quarrel with in [the book that she is reviewing].” Now, this is the kind of thing that one runs across alot. People who […]

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