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Via Litterae  2011 

The literary canon in perspective: the political character to the detriment of the aesthetic

Keywords: Canon , Historicity of the reception , Power , Device , Classic

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Abstract:

Initially a list of authors and works showcases, the literary canon today behaves as a means of ensuring the identity of a nation, a people, a group. Without sticking to the current cultural issue in that regard, this article aims to investigate the epistemological assumptions of the literary canon to explain their political character and intent to control what is read and how is to be read as inherent to every canon, as well as reveal the role of institutions such as school and university, in the determination of valid or invalid interpretations. This article also aims to show how much influence the approval process of setting up a canon, pointing to the role of the historicity of reception of the complaint as the precarious role of the canon as a discourse of legitimization of the literature. Finally, we will be outlined the relationship between canon and power, pointing to the possible use of Foucaultian concept of device as the operator for the discussion of the concept of the literary canon.

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