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We need new 'canons'

We inherit the wordcanon from the Catholic church and its great religious empire of the Latin Middle Ages, and we have transferred the concept of holiness, evidenced by the miraculous works of those canonized as saints, to literary authors capable of “magically” representing in discrete works the operative myths of our modern nation-states. Catholicism and nationalism are still important religious and geopolitical forms, but neither is any longer the prevailing model that defines the relationships of individuals to their communities. The European Union offers a model of political confederation that incorporates and yet exceeds traditional nationalism. New cosmopolitanisms have emerged to account for peoples moved by necessity or choice away from their homelands to work and live in foreign countries, and we are encountering every day new political, legal, economic, and personal situations prompted by such global mobility. Literature and other forms of cultural expression can no longer be understood in terms of a ruling geopolitical state or culture.

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