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Wednesday, December 4, 2019

3 degrees of canonicity

1. Inclusion on reading lists and academic curricula.

2. The existence of a critical industry devoted to this figure. Is there a Wallace Stevens society? If so, then he is probably a canonical writer. This critical industry will document everything about the writer, life and works.

3. The third modality is creative afterlife. includes performances, translations, and adaptations. A canonical playwright is one whose works are staged. A canonical composer is performed by musicians. Canonical authors are parodied or translated into other languages. And, what concerns me in my present work, some of them inspire music settings

A lot of the secondary literature on the canon only talks about (1). [!]. I think (2) and (3) are more significant, because they are the mark of writers who aren't merely included in a canon nominally but are hypercanonical.

This distinction also helps me clarify my own relation to Lorca. I am interested in (3) but have little wish to be part of (2) in its documentary aspects.

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