oa Alternation - The Revisionary Struggle: A Feminist Perspective on the Canon of Afrikaans Poetry

Volume 3, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



For oppressed or marginalised communities, the essence of the canonical problem is that it is only the experiences and aesthetic expression of white middle and/or upper class males which are canonised, anthologised, prescribed and in effect used as normative touchstone for the continuation and/or development of tradition. The result is that any literature originating in contexts other than those of the canonised literature are viewed as deviating from the norm and are judged as non-literary or inferior. In effect, such an attitude signifies a judgement that female, ethnic or working-class literature (see Moi 1985:78) is not only inferior when compared to 'great literature' but it also regards the experiences from which such literature emanates as being of secondary importance and not worthy of aesthetic expression.

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