University of Hertfordshire

From the same journal

From the same journal

'An Arabian in my room': Shakespeare and the Canon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • G. Holderness
View graph of relations
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-89
Number of pages7
JournalCritical Survey
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2014


The literary canon commonly thought of as ancient, accepted and agreed, and consistent between high and popular cultures. This article demonstrates the falsity of these assumptions, and argues that the canon is always provisional, contingent, iterable and overdetermined by multiple consequences of cultural struggle. Using definitions of canonicity from Harold Bloom, Frank Kermode and Pierre Bourdieu, the article shows how the canon is produced, consumed and reproduced. Picking up on Harold Bloom’s use of a poem by Wallace Stevens, the article explores the impact of Arabic adaptations of Shakespeare on canon-formation and canonicity.

ID: 8006347