All terms

What is a Canon?

A collection of works considered to be of great importance or authenticity in a particular field or genre.

Paving Your Way into the Literary Canon

The concept of 'canon' refers to a collection of works that are considered to be of great importance or authenticity within a particular field or genre. When it comes to creative writing, the question of what belongs in the literary canon is often hotly debated.

Traditionally, the literary canon was primarily concerned with works by dead white men - but in recent years, efforts have been made to include a wider range of voices and perspectives. However, determining what qualifies as 'important' or 'authentic' is still a complex and subjective process. For aspiring writers, it can be tempting to try to imitate the styles and themes of canonical works in hopes of achieving similar success. However, it's important to remember that the literary canon is constantly evolving, and there is value in seeking out and creating new voices and stories that challenge and expand upon it.

From Shakespeare to Rowling: Two Canonical Examples
Explore how the term 'canon' has been used in literature with these two examples.
Shakespeare: The King James Bible

The phrase 'canon' originated in religious texts, such as the Old and New Testament of the Bible. The King James Version of the Bible, translated in 1611, is considered a canonical text both for its historical importance and its influence on the English language.

J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter

The 'Harry Potter' series by J.K. Rowling has achieved canonical status in the world of fantasy literature for its impact on readers and the genre as a whole.