It's Time for Students to Read the New Classic Literature

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It's Time for Students to Read the New Classic Literature

Hank Aaron does not get to forever retain his title of "American baseball's all-time champion home-run hitter" simply because he was the first baseball player to hit 755 balls out of the park (Hank Aaron, 1). Instead, this record remains a goal for all aspiring players of the game. Neither George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, nor John F. Kennedy have a corner on the presidential market because they are considered among the best to have ever held that position. Why, then, would we consider only the likes of John Steinbeck, William Shakespeare, and Ernest Hemingway when we refer to "classic" literature and limit our Introduction to Literature classes to only their works? Harold Bloom, one of the foremost literary critics in American, would have us believe so. But then, "does he seriously believe this? You can't really tell" (Lehmann-Haupt, 1). Undoubtedly, they are among the best in their field-but they are no longer alone. Writers such as Joan Didion, Alice Walker, Bharati Mukhurjee, and Toni Morrison continue to pave the way for the female and minority "literati" of both our past and future, to write "the types of books that (they) should have been allowed to read" (Winchell, xi), and there is room for all of these literary geniuses in the curriculum of our college and university programs.

Ernest Hemingway proves himself worthy of being considered one of the best in his field with his short story "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber." His characters come to life immediately for the reader in their initial dialogue as they sit together in "the dining tent pretending that nothing had happened" (Hemingway, 245). Francis Macomber, the story's protag...

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...for Dead White Males." Time 10 Oct. 1994: 62-63.

Hemingway, Ernest. "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber." DiYanni, Robert. Literature: reading fiction, poetry, drama, and the essay. 3rd ed. Ed. Steve Pensinger and James R. Belser. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1990. 245-265.

Katz, Seymour. "Two Cheers for Traditions and One (Softly) for Canons." American Quarterly 41.1 (1989): 172-177.

Lehmann-Haupt, Christopher. Rev. of The Western Canon: The Books and Schools of Ages, by Harold Bloom. New York Times 1994. America Online.

"Shadowball: Hank Aaron." American Online. http://www.negro-league.columbus.oh.us/aaron.htm.

Walker, Alice. "Zora Neale Hurston: A Cautionary Tale and a Partisan View." In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens. New York; Harcourt Brace & Company, 1983. 83-92.

Winchell, Donna Haisty. Alice Walker. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1992.

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