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Blooms Canon I have spent the past two months learning how to use contemporary adolescent literature in a high school classroom That makes me a danger to people like James D Black a teacher at Louisa County High School in Mineral Virginia In his essay The Monuments of a Culture he writes In a very real sense our consciences are not our own for as teachers we have an inescapable moral duty to speak for teach preserve and renew the absolute best our culture has to offer Hyperbole aside Harold Bloom would agree with Black In his interview on C-Spans Booktalk Bloom says Either you believe that reading and teaching and thinking about the best that has been thought and written and said matters and does everyone a great deal of good or you do not Or put simply Take the best of what has been written as our text book Now I believe that there can and should be a separate canon for Young Adult literature and with that one stipulation withstanding I agree with Bloom A teacher should strive to use the best of what has been written as the text for a class This makes Blooms essay Elegy for the Canon of great interest to me In it Bloom explains how the modern definition of Canon a catalog of approved authors became separate from its religious origins in the 18th century with the acceptance of Shakespeare as the Secular canon or even the secular scripture Pg24 What is it about a playwright dead almost 400 years that makes him so important to read and relevant to our lives today Who decided that Shakespeare or any other author like Milton was canonical In his day the dominant social class chose Shakespeare Pg 25 He was a favorite of the aristocracy plus he appealed to the burgeoning middle class He captured the great dimiurge economic and social history bending those creative chaotic elements
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