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Canon and its changes

The term literary canon has more than one meaning. The most appropriate definition
that illustrates the meaning of this term has reference to a classification of literature. Literary
canon is used to represent the literary works of several authors that are considered to be the
most representative and important for a determined period of time and place. To give an idea of
what literary canon is, the following example is provided: there can be a canon which is
composed of literary works or even a set of works written in a specific period of time, or from a
distinct country.
Literary works can be classified in more than one way, but regarding to a classification
which is included in the literary canon there must be a certain validity or authority applied to the
literary work in discussion. Not every work that has been written so far is included in the literary
canon. For a work to be recognized as such, there are several literary critics, scholars, and people
whose critique and opinions regarding the work are considered to be generally appreciated.
When a work is canonized, meaning it enters the literary canon, it acquires a status as an official
entry into a collection of literary works that are widely studied and appreciated. A popular and
respected literary works usually deals with what people are most interested in, and this interest
decides whether the work will be canonized or not.
A literary work implies a relation between the author and the reader. During the centuries
this relation has changed and evolved, thus the canon has changed and evolved. The process of
canon formation and evolution is influenced by cultural and historical change. In the late
centuries the number of readers has increased due to the invention of the printing machine and
easy access to books. The tastes and orientation of the readers has developed and changed during
the centuries, thus creating a modification of the canon. If a work enters the canon that does not
mean that it is going to stay there. As the interests and thoughts of the reader change, a literay
work may move in and out of interest.