„The relevance of canonicity has nothing to do with the notion of codified establishments of hierarchical judgment (for which it typically attracts revisionist hostility). Instead, canonicity is important as the capacity to permit vibrant reading relationships to works from the past. … Whatever else the canon may do, its primary function has been the preservation of the reception of literature across periodic borders, thereby calling into question the significance of those borders or the fetishism of contexts. The canon tunnels under the Berlin Wall that periodizers erect between literary regimes. As a fundamental level, therefore, periodization stands at odds with canonicity. Canonicity maintains, cultivates, and develops community over time and across generations; periodization breaks up that identity and suppresses the historical continuities through a strategy of temporal separation.“
— Russell Berman
Fiction Sets You Free: Literature, Liberty and Western Culture (2007), p. 19.