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METACANON 0.7
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METACANON 0.7

This is not a greatest books list.

Metacanon is a database that offers an alternative to the genre of the greatest books list. Unlike lists compiled by individuals or small committees of experts, metacanon builds custom book lists by culling data from tens of thousands of scholarly texts. This data-driven approach results in a more comprehensive, flexible, and inclusive gateway into the canon(s).

Metacanon 0.7 is limited primarily to American fiction after 1800, but future updates will expand to include other areas, genres, and periods.

Use the menu below to generate your own version of the canon.

Presets:

19th Century
20th Century
1800 - Present
New York Times Archive

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Althorithm Modifications

Change the weight of these data points in order to change the shape of your canon.










# Title Author Year Score
1Mark as read.HerzogSaul Bellow196414.64
2Mark as read.Second SkinJohn Hawkes19647.27
3Mark as read.A Single ManChristopher Isherwood19647.16
4Mark as read.Nova ExpressWilliam S. Burroughs19646.28
5Mark as read.Sometimes a Great NotionKen Kesey19646.17
6Mark as read.Up the Down StaircaseBel Kaufman19646.07
7Mark as read.Last Exit to BrooklynHubert Selby Jr.19645.92
8Mark as read.The Town Beyond the WallElie Wiesel19645.76
9Mark as read.The Rector of JustinLouis Auchincloss19645.29
10Mark as read.Harriet the SpyLouise Fitzhugh19644.74
11Mark as read.The Keepers of the HouseShirley Ann Grau19644.56
12Mark as read.With Shuddering FallJoyce Carol Oates19644.41
13Mark as read.A Confederate General from Big SurRichard Brautigan19644.27
14Mark as read.Catherine CarmierErnest J. Gaines19643.99
15Mark as read.Short FridayIsaac Bashevis Singer19643.92
16Mark as read.Other People's HousesLore Segal19643.74
17Mark as read.The MartyredRichard E. Kim19643.46
18Mark as read.The Wapshot ScandalJohn Cheever19642.57
19Mark as read.To an Early GraveWallace Markfield19642.48
20Mark as read.Jonathan TroyEdward Abbey19641.72
21Mark as read.The Towers of ToronSamuel R. Delany19641.69
22Mark as read.Reuben, ReubenPeter De Vries19641.03
23Mark as read.Boys and Girls TogetherWilliam Goldman19640.90
24Mark as read.Children and OthersJames Gould Cozzens19640.63
# Score
1Mark as read.Herzog (1964)
Saul Bellow
14.64
2Mark as read.Second Skin (1964)
John Hawkes
7.27
3Mark as read.A Single Man (1964)
Christopher Isherwood
7.16
4Mark as read.Nova Express (1964)
William S. Burroughs
6.28
5Mark as read.Sometimes a Great Notion (1964)
Ken Kesey
6.17
6Mark as read.Up the Down Staircase (1964)
Bel Kaufman
6.07
7Mark as read.Last Exit to Brooklyn (1964)
Hubert Selby Jr.
5.92
8Mark as read.The Town Beyond the Wall (1964)
Elie Wiesel
5.76
9Mark as read.The Rector of Justin (1964)
Louis Auchincloss
5.29
10Mark as read.Harriet the Spy (1964)
Louise Fitzhugh
4.74
11Mark as read.The Keepers of the House (1964)
Shirley Ann Grau
4.56
12Mark as read.With Shuddering Fall (1964)
Joyce Carol Oates
4.41
13Mark as read.A Confederate General from Big Sur (1964)
Richard Brautigan
4.27
14Mark as read.Catherine Carmier (1964)
Ernest J. Gaines
3.99
15Mark as read.Short Friday (1964)
Isaac Bashevis Singer
3.92
16Mark as read.Other People's Houses (1964)
Lore Segal
3.74
17Mark as read.The Martyred (1964)
Richard E. Kim
3.46
18Mark as read.The Wapshot Scandal (1964)
John Cheever
2.57
19Mark as read.To an Early Grave (1964)
Wallace Markfield
2.48
20Mark as read.Jonathan Troy (1964)
Edward Abbey
1.72
21Mark as read.The Towers of Toron (1964)
Samuel R. Delany
1.69
22Mark as read.Reuben, Reuben (1964)
Peter De Vries
1.03
23Mark as read.Boys and Girls Together (1964)
William Goldman
0.90
24Mark as read.Children and Others (1964)
James Gould Cozzens
0.63

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Include only:


Include only works published between and .

Althorithm Modifications

Change the weight of these data points in order to change the shape of your canon.








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N-gram Frequency Correction.

Titles consisting of words or phrases that are exceedingly common in the English language corpus (such as Stephen King's It or Joyce Carol Oates's them) tend to be overrepresented in search results, thus resulting in an articially inflated citation count. To counteract this tendency, Metacanon adjusts the scores for these works accordingly. Scores subjected to n-gram frequency correction are estimates only and are marked with an asterisk. N-gram freqencies are drawn from the Corpus of Contemporary American English, a project created by Mark Davies.


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Non-unique author Correction.

Books by authors with a non-unique name (for example "Winston Churchill," the American novelist) tend to be overrepresented in search results, thus resulting in an articially inflated citation count. To counteract this tendency, Metacanon adjusts the scores for these works accordingly. Scores subjected to non-unique author correction are estimates only and are marked with a dagger.


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