DYNAMICS OF AMERICAN LITERARY CANONS: FROM CLASSICAL ANTIQUITY TO “REVOLUTION OF PLURALITY”

Nataliia Vysotska

Abstract


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. 


Keywords


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

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References


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