The European or Western Canon

Western Literary Canon

harold-bloom-canonThe Western literary canon comprises of works of literature that scholars generally accept and endorse as the most relevant or influential as a part of the cultural heritage of Europe and the Western nations. In this list are included literary works such as fiction, poetry, non-fiction, drama, etc. that are generally perceived as being the most representative examples of Europe’s cultural heritage and legacy (including Western nations such as those in the Americas, Africa and the

Australian continent, whose culture has been deeply affected by Europe.)

The Western Canon: Literature and Film

In 1955, Marcos Denevi (1920-1998) received in his office at the National Postal Savings Fund a phone call whose objective was to communicate that his novel had been selected winner of the Kraft competition, held the previous year in Germany. The book’s title was Rosaura at 10 O’Clock. It was a crime novel inspired by a classic of Victorian English literature, The Woman in White and The Moonstone, written by William Wilkie Collins. A few months after the publication of the novel, it became an instant bestseller in Europe and America. Literary critics praised it and it became a part of the Western narrative literature corpus, later adapted to theater, cinema and television.

The detective-like plot frame, enclosing the subject of ideal love and the substitution of identities (recurring themes in the subsequent works of the writer) interested directors and film producers. Although, the author of the novel kept the rights to adapt his novel, book publishers were allowed to participate in occasional negotiations and get a part of the money paid for obtaining the adaptation license. Denevi himself declared that, from all the offers he had received, he accepted that of prestigious director Mario Soffici (1900-1977), who had up to that point adapted and directed many national as well as international bestsellers.