|Dear Classical Wisdom Reader,|
Fortunately I have a very thoughtful and intellectually inquisitive husband.
You see, I’ve been prepping for tomorrow’s conversation, and it appears I’ve got Canon on the mind…
DH (dear husband) has been my constant interlocutor on the subject of whether we need a canon, what it should look like and what goes in it. (So you can see, it’s not small talk).
His perspective is invaluable, but he’s also a writer himself... and so certain elements of literature are much more important to him than perhaps are to the general public.
He’ll willingly admit that he’s more than happy to immerse himself in words that are truly well-written… even if they don’t actually say much (art for art’s sake). Madame Bovary, for example.
I’m more of a plot/character driven kind of gal myself. And of course, I hold great value in a work’s historical and philosophical standing. After all, if we are to judge literature just by aesthetics, then what in the world are we going to do with Aristotle?
Which is why I thought I should ask you, dear reader, for your valued opinion on the subject… to open up the conversation even more.
Tomorrow Dr. Anika Prather (of Howard University), Alexandra Hudson (of Civic Renassiance) and myself will ask whether we need a canon and if so, what should go into it… so I think before delving into such an important discussion, we should first ask:
What make a book GREAT?
Should we judge on aesthetics? On the wisdom provided? On its morality or inspection of truth? Is historical importance or influence key? Do we need to take into account the individual who wrote it… or where they are from?
Or in the words of the US Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, is it something you simply know when you see it? (or in this case read it).
I’ll add another dimension to the question, a bonus round if you like:
Does the definition of a GREAT Book change when considering the purpose of the canon? (and of course, that purpose is also up for debate!)
Please write in to [email protected] or reply to this email so I can bring up your points in tomorrow’s conversation… and of course, make sure to register so you can watch! Even if you can’t attend the talk live, as long as you register in advance, you will receive the recording.
Have problems with Eventbrite? You can also register directly with GotoWebinar: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/472545227940064014