Literature

Canons and Classics: Are They Still Relevant?

What is the literary canon? When I hear the word ‘canon,’ two things come to mind. First, I think of the true events in a book or TV show—and not part of a fanfiction—this one is left over from my Tumblr phase. The other definition conjures up an image of High School English classes, where we had to read outdated, boring books written by white men, that were usually racist and misogynistic. However, the canon as we know it has been getting some fresh new titles as time has gone on, as the demand for a more diverse set of voices rises.

Campfire Pop

The hot medium of flames smacks

upward, whacks sheer eyes

with a stencil of blue and green.

Foreigner

There is a foreigner
on this shore.
From foreign lands, with
Foreign hands,
Knocking at my door.

The Lions on the Library Ceiling

The Lions on the Library Ceiling

Have you seen the lions on the library ceiling? They’re pawing at the edges of ontology, where flowers bow like gentlemen with Sinatra-style fedora hats. Everyone is lithe, lither than pigeons bopping on the curb and squirrels scrambling at a crumb of bread, and yet the lions lie in stubborn stone. Nothing to do but dance. 

The Validity of Self-Help: Literature Like any Other

The Validity of Self-Help: Literature Like any Other

Toward the end of a several-day hiatus from writing, I visited a bookstore for the sole purpose of perusing. I was shocked to see that “self-help” had become a section of its own, donning a few eight-foot high columns. Authors promoted anything from traditional Buddhist concepts to successful wall-street financial maneuvers to better the reader’s everyday life. I picked up and flipped through The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson, whom I was already somewhat familiar with, when it dawned on me. I just need to write this piece. I don’t need to actually give a “F*ck”. Motivated by a Nike-esque “just do it” mentality, I embraced the ethos of the self-help genre.

The Woman with the Cross Tattoo

The Woman with the Cross Tattoo

On my sixteenth birthday, I ask my mother if I can get a tattoo like hers on my wrist. Raising an eyebrow at me, she responds back, like she’s done, a thousand times before,

It’s not a tattoo, she says.

Racial Diversity in Literature – What it Means and Why We Need It

Racial Diversity in Literature – What it Means and Why We Need It

“What I wanted, needed really, was to become an integral and valued part of the mosaic that I saw around me,” wrote Walter Dean Myers in a 2014 opinion piece for the New York Times, titled Where Are the People of Color in Children’s Books? He explains that when living through extremely difficult points of his life (including coping with the murder of his uncle, grief, and alcohol abuse by family members),reading books became a retreat from the world. He noted that the world he saw around him was not reflected in his reading material: “As I discovered who I was, a black teenager in a white-dominated world, I saw that these characters, these lives, were not mine.”

The Dead Sea Scrolls: Ancient Texts and Modern Forgery

The Dead Sea Scrolls: Ancient Texts and Modern Forgery

For two thousand years, the Dead Sea Scrolls lay hidden. They were discovered in 1947 in the West Bank and became incredibly important artifacts for archaeologists and scholars as some of the oldest biblical texts ever discovered. Over the next several decades the various Scrolls were sold and scattered between various collectors and museums. One such museum, the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., proudly displayed sixteen fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls, until this past March, when National Geographic reported that a team of researchers had found that all of the museum’s fragments were fakes. This conclusion has important ramifications not only for the museum, but also for researchers studying the Scrolls, and for the history of Judaism and Christianity.

Join our mailing list to receive the latest posts and updates from our Acta.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Share This