Katha Pollitt (1949–) “Why We Read: Canon to the Right of Me …,” The Nation (1991)
For the past couple of years we’ve all been witness to a furious debate about the literary canon. What books should be assigned to students? What books should critics discuss? What books should the rest of us read, and who are “we” anyway? Like everyone else, I’ve given these questions some thought, and when an invitation came my way, I leaped to produce my own manifesto. But to my surprise, when I sat down to write—in order to discover, as E. M. Forster once said, what I really think—I found that I agreed with all sides in the debate at once.
KeywordsGreat Book Shared Culture Aesthetic Pleasure Literary Canon Adventure Story
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