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Katherine Redford's picture

Reactions to Anne's Group Discussion

In our group we talked (or tried to) about the literary cannon, and why certain novels were chosen over others to be included.  As I listened to the discussion, I realized I had no idea how we might choose what goes there, I just knew that some novels seemed to belong there, and some didn't.  To push one of Paul's analogies, I was sort of being a bad scientist about it, not really observing for myself what I thought might be the criteria.  I just read novels considered to be literary greats.  I agree with Megan's point that just because we can't relate, or it is not applicable to today, we can't automatically through it out, but, not being an English major, this is something that I need to find in a novel in order for it to grab my attention.  

But I am really not comfortable with deciding what belongs in the canon and what doesn't.  So really, I can observe/read all I want, and I don't think I could define any novel as great lit or bad lit, because it is incredibly subjective.  I think this is where I see a big difference between science and the humanities.  While I do agree that science is subjective, we do have "the crack", to me the humanities tend to be much more flexible.

 ..still thinking..

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