Saturday, December 11, 2004

Exile of Sequential Literature: Addressing the Cannon

Francoise wants Gloria Anzaldua's novel "Borderlands: La Frontera," and Toni
Morrison's "Beloved," and Alice Walker's "The Color Purple" on the MSU book mark. I say this would not be the best choice. Although I agree these are very important texts for women and identity, there is one problem, these women are dealing strictly with the difficulty of being a Minority of AMERICA. This only adds to the Eurocentric style, and train of thought. They may be fordging new ground in their commentaries of life in America, but I say we need lees Americancentric novels as the list is so heavy with this and Eurocentric titles that it is near sickening.

English 300 asks us to critically analyze the MSU top 100 books, and re-look at the cannon we have decided. Originally I was pushing "Haroun and the Sea of Stories" as the book to replace "Charlotte's Web", but the more I think about it I don't want Rushdie to have 2 titles on their. If "Haroun" replaces anything, it should be Rushdie's prior work, but since that would take more comparrison, I would rather talk about why... "THE TALE OF GENJI" is not on the MSU top 100!

"The Tales of Genji" was written in 1004 A.D. by a Japanese WOMAN, Murasaki Shikibu. Not only a minority, but the first woman to write such a novel. Lady Shikibu was in waiting to be empress of Japan, and between long and drawn out court ceremonies and all the pomp and circumstance, fit in time to be imaginative and wrote. She wrote what many claim to be the world's first psychological novel and the greatest work of fiction of the age. The Tale of Genji How come one of the world's greatest works of fiction, and the FIRST psychological novel is not on the MSU top 100 book list? Is anybody else as pissed off about this as I am? And to think we call ourselves civilized, let alone educated. Piffy! That really horks my snorkle-majig.

If anything "Charlotte's Web" should be knocked off for the "The Tale of Genji." Yet the "Genji" is a much more sophisticated book as well, and I believe it should move into the top TEN of the MSU list. The remaining titles will all shift (or shuffle) down a notch.

On another note: "Superman for All Seasons," and "Maus" are two graphic novels which HAVE THE GUSTO to contend on the list of all time best works of litterature. Because a book has 'pictures' doesn't mean it isn't telling a better story than the rest. I think not only is the MSU list entirely Eurocentric, but also pictoraly defunctional. Comics and graphic novels do utilize enough literature to change the world, and the fact that we consider William Faulkner and Virginia Woolf classics, but "Superman" is not, is just a biased people have adhered to ever since Walt Disney brain-washed there ideologies of what is acceptable to children, as well as adults.


The fact remains, Superman has been around as long as Faulkner and Woolf, and has produced at times works that are on par with such mentioned authors (often at the exact same time they were creating their masterpieces many artists were honing Supes into the American Icon he is today.) Superman has global appeal as well, in the example of 1995 when every major city on the planet ran a headline in their papers, "Superman dies". A historical moment which the world took notice of, even if it was just a fictional character. Superman continues to entertain and sell today, and new works are continually being created. Why some scholarly elite are prejudice against "sequential story telling" is purely a form of naive snobbishness. Let us get beyond this literary handicap, and learn to embrace all forms of litterature!

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