Here are some discussion questions for tomorrow's class (I've emailed this to everyone, but just in case...)
1. In Part I of “The Concept of the Canon,” Arnold Krupat outlines two opposing views of the canon—How does he delineate these two views and what are some broad characteristics included within their perspectives?
2. Krupat argues that “An American literary canon […] is worth fighting for"; he also argues for a revision of the canon. How does he define such a canon and why does he believe it is important? How would he revise it?
3. In writing workshops, we’ll often talk about the relationship between form and content in an individual text. Krupat extends these terms by stating, “It is the image of individual wholeness and collective cohesiveness (“content”) we approve as presented by means of those techniques (“form”) we enjoy that determines our choices for the literary canon.” (44) How does he illustrate this point? What are the implications of his argument?
4. Krupat advocates for a canon formation governed by principles of “unity-in-difference” and “secular heterodoxy.” What does he mean? How is this different from “some kind of proportional representation”?
5. While Krupat focuses on ideology (or orthodoxy) in the academy, Robert McLaughlin in “Oppositional Aesthetic/Positional Ideologies: A Brief Cultural History of Alternative Publishing,” discusses the ideologies of commercial publishers. Do these ideologies overlap, and if so, how? Is McLaughlin arguing for an “art-for-art’s-sake” kind of publishing?
6. In “Numbers Trouble,” Juliana Spahr and Stephanie Young focus specifically on “experimental/postmodern/avant-garde/innovative” writing communities; how does their argument support or contradict McLaughlin’s notion of “alternative” publishing? Are they arguing for “proportional representation”? How do their research methods contribute, or detract, from their thesis?