The Western Canon by Harold Bloom Review By Dan Geddes 11 February See also reviews. The Western Canon. by Harold Bloom. Harold Bloom’s Elegy for the Western Literary Canon. 1. Introduction— Sympathetic viewpoint towards modern literary theory. Yesterday, I did a. It also insists that aesthetic originality is the only qualification for inclusion in the Canon of Western literature. To illustrate his thesis, Bloom selects
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As such, the essays must stand on their own merit, rather than on the provocative packaging in which they are wrapped. This is where Prof. Bloom disagrees with the modern theories of literary interpretation can be shown in this diagram from Integral Theory:. In these lectures on the value and the interpretation of literature Prof.
The Western Canon is Bloom’s best-known book alongside The Anxiety of Influenceand was a surprise bestseller upon its release in the United States.
Bloom felt that this aesthetic elitism was a positive thing. Reading literature may help you understand the culture in which it was created, but having that as a major value of literature is something I think Prof.
However, modern literary theory interprets literature through the lens of the culture and the society, almost to the exclusion of the individual aesthetic. Sorry, your blog cannot bloon posts by email.
Canonical writers changed the medium, the language they were working in. Bloom draws the line, and refuses to harld along with this politicization of literature. This view is something he is vehemently against, the idea that Paradise Lost, for example, can be reduced to an interplay of economic forces.
Hagold consists of those writers all other writers have to know and by whom they measure themselves. Whether or not this fear is grounded can only be known in the future, but as a reader of Bloom it is always refreshing to be in the presence of a writer who is enthusiastic about literature, and has a solid command of his material.
The School of Resentment views the traditional canon politically, as a means the social elite drives home the inferiority of subject classes. The anxiety of influence sees each new potential writer as largely an ephebe, who has digested a great deal of canonical works even before he has begun to write, but who must struggle to overcome these influences, lest bllom own originality be strangled stillborn. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: Rant against the Cant: But along with Joseph Campbell, Prof.
His bpoom remains for me a touchstone in deepening my appreciation for literature, modern literary theory notwithstanding.
Bloom’s Elegy for Western Literature – The Western Canon – The Satirist
The Books and School of the Ages Cover of the first edition. But even the creative genius will bear strong traces of influence from the past genius, which he or she will try to mask through various methods: You are commenting using your WordPress. Forming bookends around his incisive critiques of twenty-six representative canonical authors, Bloom engages in a polemic against what he terms the School of Resentment.
To sum up Prof. The fourth point is where Prof.
Bloom’s Elegy for Western Literature – The Western Canon
The Western Canon includes four appendices listing works that Bloom at the time considered canonical, stretching from earliest scriptures to Tony Kushner’s Angels in America. He shows giving examples uarold how each of these schools produces new insights that were not available before from more traditional forms of literary interpretation.
Bloom could most readily agree. This page was last edited on 8 Decemberat According to Harold Bloom, why have a canon in the first place? Ekegy was dubious about the first three, and posited the last two as better alternatives for the value of literature.
Rant against the Cant: Prof. Harold Bloom’s Elegy for the Western Literary Canon | 4squareviews
To sum up, the reason why Prof. Bloom’s canon is in many ways mine.
However, the fact that great literature is written by the aesthetic elite gets conflated in the modern university system as being written by a product of the socioeconomic elite, and is, under Marxist interpretations of literature, just hadold tool of that socioeconomic repression of one class by another. The canon survives because of its aesthetic power, and despite any tendentiousness on the part of the creative artist.
Shakespeare invented us, according to Bloom, because he began character representation as we know it. Print Hardcover and Paperback.
Your email address will not be published. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. A culture’s canon is an evolving consensus of individual canons.
Notify me of new comments via email. As far as helping one how to think, Prof. And for Western writers, the principal anxiety of influence comes from Shakespeare, who, as Bloom likes boom repeat, is the canon.
For Bloom, the cardinal error of the School, is that it fails to appreciate the sheer aesthetic power of canonical writers.
Bloom come down on these points? Whereas the School may see all barold as a political action, Bloom views literature as a largely solitary endeavor, a way we find the self-within.
So putting it all together:. Bloom argues against what he calls the ” School of Resentment “, which includes feminist literary criticismMarxist literary criticismLacaniansNew HistoricismDeconstructionistsand semioticians. The Books and the School of blom Ages’; Books”.
But Blooms claims to be indifferent to the implications of this, believing that those who read for aesthetic enjoyment alone will always be around, and the rest, many of whom will be snatched up culture studies, can be left to their fate.
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