Taking a cannon to the canon

We had a bit of a chat about Hemingway and his place in the canon on Monday. So what do we count as a classic? How long does a book have to stick around to be inducted, as it were? And could there be an entirely different understanding of what a classic is?

Chris Cox (link above) argues that there are two types of classics: those in the canon, and those that "we've read five times, can quote from on any occasion, and annoyingly push on to other people with the words: 'You have to read this. It's a classic.'" One might argue that the latter are just what we call "super good books." Thoughts?

1 comment:

  1. It all depends on your definition of classic, all right. Who actually decides these things?

    I liked a lot of the classics in school but some were like Chinese water torture. Silas Marner comes to mind. That's why God created Cliff Notes.