Meaning of Anthology

The first thing we are going to do before proceeding to determine the meaning of the word anthology that we are now dealing with is to make clear its etymological origin. In doing so, we will discover that it emanates from the Greek, more precisely it is the result of the sum of two components: “anthos”, which can be translated as “flower”, and the verb “legein”, which means “to choose”.

An anthology is a collection of pieces selected for their value or quality. The anthology, therefore, can consist of a compilation of stories, poems, songs, records, etc.

For example: “My wife gave me an anthology of Latin American poetry for my birthday”, “The Chilean writer is the only South American novelist who was selected to be part of the new literary anthology edited by El Bosque”, “The singer reported that he will edit an anthology of bossa nova, with own interpretations of great hits of the genre ”.

An anthology is generally understood to be a gathering of remarkable works of art. This gives the public the possibility of accessing pieces of great individual value within the same set or package. In this way, if a person buys an anthology of Swedish poetry from the 20th century, to cite one case, he will be able to read the best poems produced in Sweden during that period in the same book (or in several volumes, but belonging to the same publication).

There is a very funny and unique work entitled “Anthology of nonsense.” As its own name indicates this work, carried out by Julio Reboredo Pazos and Javier Serrano Palacio, which is a compendium of the biggest mistakes and absurdities that students have written on exams.

Thus, for example, among the most singular nonsense are those who say that the Eiffel Tower was invented by the Egyptians, that Plato studied in the Jesuits or that Christ died with two people next to him who were his bodyguards.

An anthology of Brazilian abstract painting, for its part, may consist of an exhibition developed in a museum that brings together paintings of said style and origin selected by experts.

Any anthology that is carried out is important that it is made up of the following parts: cover, presentation, foreword and review.

In the same way, we cannot ignore that there are various types of anthologies. These are true that they can be classified according to the type of topic or area they address but also through other criteria. In this sense, we could speak of two large groups of anthologies:
• The arbitrary ones, which are based on certain writings that the author considers, by his own decision or personal taste, to include.
• The partial ones, which come to be sets of texts that share several links in common.

It is easy to see that an anthology is always arbitrary and partial. In a poetic anthology, how to determine which poems will be part of the set? The same can be said of a painting exhibition: should twenty, thirty or more paintings be exhibited?

The expression “anthology”, on the other hand, allows us to refer to something out of the ordinary and, therefore, worth noting: “The English striker scored another anthology goal to give his team a new victory. ”


About the author