Cultural Capital: The Problem of Literary Canon Formation
University of Chicago Press, 1993 - Literary Criticism - 392 pages
"In three case studies, Guillory charts the rise and decline of the category of "literature" as the organizing principle of canon formation in the modern period. He considers the institutionalization of the English vernacular canon in eighteenth-century primary schools; the polemic on behalf of a New Critical modernist canon in the university; and the appearance of a "canon of theory" supplementing the literary curriculum in the graduate schools and marking the onset of a terminal crisis of literature as the dominant form of cultural capital in the schools." "The final chapter of Cultural Capital examines recent theories of value judgment, which have strongly reaffirmed cultural relativism as the necessary implication of canon critique. Contrasting the relativist position with Pierre Bourdieu's very different sociology of judgment, Guillory concludes that the object of a revisionary critique of aesthetic evaluation should not be to discredit judgment, but to reform the conditions of its practice in the schools by universalizing access to the means of literary production and consumption."--BOOK JACKET.
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