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November 10th, 2008, 13:25
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Yes, but they are several hundred years dead, you know ?

How will Tolkien be treated in let's say 300 years ?

To me, this is just a sign of conservatism, nothing else.
Except the following authors are also considered, more or less, respectably literary in academic circles: Toni Morrison, T. S. Eliot, Faulkner, Salman Rushdie, and a lot more. Wouldn't you know, not only have these people not been dead for centuries, some of them are actually still alive (!). Seamus Heaney's translation of Beowulf is quite respectable, and barring the possibility that he's just dropped dead right this minute, to my knowledge he's still not shuffled off his mortal coil.

Understand, being considered literary is not a mark of superiority in particular, and nor do I adore every single piece of text in your average university syllabus—if anything, I support the notion of blurring the line between "genre"and "literary" fiction, which is a wanky distinction in itself and I'd love for more people to take speculative fiction more seriously without stupid bitches like Margaret Atwood whining about how their stuff is serious literature, not sci-fi. buckaroobonzai's fantastically off-the-mark comment about Waiting for Godot was particularly amusing because I care nothing for Beckett despite his place in the canon. But the fact is, Tolkien's still not given an unequivocal place in that canon. He might, given a few more decades, but unless you've special psychic powers, we don't know yet.
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