ERIC Number: ED336754
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
The "Norton Anthology" and the Canon of English Literature.
An examination of the additions, deletions, and revisions of the 2-volume "Norton Anthology of English Literature" (the most popular text used by college teachers) from the 1962 first edition to the 1986 fifth edition, sought to identify those changes which would confirm the editors' stated purposes in the prefaces and to speculate on some unstated assumptions or purposes. A review of each succeeding edition showed: (1) that 3 centuries of scientism are well represented in the 5 editions; (2) an expansion from about 3,450 pages in the first edition to over 5,000 pages in the fifth, while the percentage of pages devoted to women and contemporary voices is less in the last edition of 1986 than in the first edition of 1962; (3) there are no more than a handful of significant deletions from the "Norton" in its 24 years. This indicates that texts have remained the same for a quarter of a century, and suggests that English and American literary culture has abandoned the search for the questions and issues of these times and settled for trying to find answers to the questions of the nineteenth century and before. (SR)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Literary Canon; Norton Anthology of Literature
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the College English Association (San Antonio, TX, 1991).