I was not stating my view or limiting it to them--only that most readers and critics would include them. I was not even claiming that "great" is a valid category. I'm not sure I would be able to point to any single text as eclipsing others in an absolute sense, but yours is as valid as others.
>>> Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]> 11/07/07 11:34 AM >>>
Nancy Gish wrote:
> I agree with your quibble--but with a quibble. What constitutes "great" is always in question--with a very few exceptions that have been largely agreed on, like Dante and Shakespeare, and even then the category can be challenged.
While I would not challenge including them in some amorphous category of
"The Great," I would sharply differ from Eliot's way of putting it, when
he cites those two and argues "there is no third." Eliot was probably
being deliberately extravagant, so I will be extravagant in my turn:
Dante & Shakespeare are both eclipsed by Book 24 of the Iliad in which
humanity discovers it is human.