Nataliia Vysotska


The paper addresses transformations of American literary canons from diachronic perspective. It is argued that the following principal stages in this process may be identified: transition from ancient Greek and Roman legacy to previous and contemporary British writings (18th c.); “Americanization” of the canon marked by fierce polemics (19th – early 20th c.); functioning of “protocanon” based on genteel tradition (turn of the 19th – 20th cc.); building of democratic-individualistic canon around key figures in American Renaissance and later mainstream authors (mid-20th с.); and, finally, “the revolution of plurality” entailing the opening of the canon for representatives of ethnic, racial, gender and other minorities (1960s-1990s), and on, to present-day changes in its generic parameters and pronounced cultural and intermedial dimensions. 


American literature; canon; “Americanization”; genteel tradition; American Renaissance; “revolution of plurality”

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