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Yet I have fond memories of those Canadian anthologies I used as an undergraduate at McGill: Brown, Bennett, and Cookes's An Anthology of Canadian Literature in English and Lecker's own two-volume Canadian Poetry (with Jack David) are still on my shelf, much consulted--and indeed, photocopied--over the years.
Lecker (English, McGill University) offers a sustained historical study of the elements that contributed to the evolution of English-Canadian anthologies of poetry and prose, from 1837 to 2010.
According to Braddock, the failure of anthologies to "secure a patrimony" for poetry equal to the museum pushed literary Modernism into the surrogate, institutional roost of the University Archive.
One may always quibble with matters of selection and omission in anthologies.
It may surprise some to note, given the tone and volume of the negative reactions to the anthology (as well as the championing of Dove about greater diversity), that the increase of representation is not as dramatic as one might imagine when compared to other recent anthologies.
While this approach is similar to that of traditional monuments of music and study anthologies in the print environment, moving away from the "wrapper" of the individual volumes in such a series makes it easy for the user to forget the monuments approach through which one might.
Anthologies also serve as statements about how history is written and how it should be written, manifestos of sorts.
Organized thematically rather than historically to reflect the life and culture of African Americans, the text includes poets who have not made appearances in other canon builders, like the Norton anthologies.
Hefty new anthologies of romantic literature, expanded to enlarge the canon, land on one's desk with a resounding thump, so it is easy to forget that the anthology is a miniaturizing strategy, one of several that Leah Price takes up in her elegantly written and persuasively argued brief for the anthology as a distinct and influential genre.
Although it favors fiction over nonfiction and excerpts from novels over poetry, the anthology is a valuable one, if only because there's such a dearth of anthologies with this focus.
This kind of qualitative imbalance, however, is often found in anthologies, and readers are accustomed to finding the gold among the dross.