Abstract and keywords

Ritið 2/11 - 2011

Dagný Kristjánsdóttir: Official Shool Poetry

For a literary canon to receive ideological concensus it must be public and a part of the educational system. 'Skólaljóð', the lyrical anthology for public schools from 1901, laid the foundation for a literary canon. That canon was male chauvinist, nationalistic, emphasising nature poetry, patriotic poems and the history of Iceland as interpreted by the poets of the nationalist struggle for independence in the 19th century. The core of this selection remained almost unaltered through many new editions up to the 1960's but criticism and dissent grew until there was no longer any concensus on a nationalistic canon. Making a literary canon optional in each schools curriculum seems radial – the article asks if it is possible or preferable.

Keywords: Official school poetry, literary canon, literary history, nationalism, children's culture

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