Discussed and debated, revered and reviled, Bloom's tome reinvigorates and re-examines Western Literature, arguing against the politicization of reading. His erudite passion will encourage you to hurry and finish his book so you can pick up Shakespeare, Austen and Dickens once again to rediscover their original magic. In addition, his appendix listing of the "future" canon - the books today that will be timeless tomorrow - is sure to be the template for future debate.
A review of 200 or 300 words cannot do justice to a book like this: it is the summation of a great critic's most fundamental beliefs--something like a dying Bernstein's last performance of Mahler's ninth, though in this case a lot less sad. In fact, this book of essays represents Bloom at his most celebratory, and there's a wonderful, vigorous energy about it. Why, one wonders, reading it, do we bother reading anybody but Shakespeare, Dante, or Chaucer? The argument for Shakespeare is particularly compelling. Bloom believes that Shakespeare is the canon: that he defines for the Western world the standards by which we judge all literature. And more: he defines for us what we are ourselves, what we understand of human nature. This argument, offered with Bloom's customary flare for the controversial, is akin to the remark that all philosophy is a footnote to Plato, and like it, is probably in large measure true. Thus, modern psychology doesn't add very much to what people could have already learned from reading Shakespeare because Shakespeare defines the limits of what we know: we can't get beyond or outside him. Certainly, experience teaches that Bloom is right; indeed, the evolution of human consciousness seems to have taken one of its periodic jolts forward about the time of Shakespeare, and he above all seems to have captured the entire scope of what was new. As Bloom points out, Shakespeare is universally adored, in all languages, and perhaps it is for this reason. The essays on Dante and Chaucer are almost equally powerful, though in a sense less awesome. And the brief remarks about the powerful movements of resentment trying to push apart these great pillars of the Western canon, though perspicacious, are melancholy and incidental. Get this book for the great essays on Shakespeare. For lovers of literature, probably nothing more powerful or in an odd way more religious will be written this year. Stuart Whitwell --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews
The Canon is even more important now with all the wild attacks on White American and European authors. The truth transcends the PC propaganda.Published 1 month ago by Old and Slow
20 words or more? At work on lunch break. Great! Can't get enough of Harold Bloom.
20 words or more? At work on lunch break. Great! Read more
Very few individuals can make me feel like I am unread. However, every time I study anything written by Harold Bloom I discover an entire new list of authors and works with which... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Francis C. Donnelly
Dense with confusing metaphor but interesting. Bloom is idiosyncratic in his viewpoint - not your old English teacher. Deeply read, full of energy and enthusiasm. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Leslie Thomas
I haven’t read this book, but I have read enough Bloom to be wary of Bloom. In particular, I’ve read Bloom on Romantic poets. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Dean Mimmack
The 'school of resentment' and the school of bad acting are entirely one and the same.
Its graduates are *weenies* on their INTELLECTUAL best behavior--they act as if at... Read more
Mr. Bloom loves to read, and he teaches us to love it as well. I am so pleased he bases his evaluations on merit rather than politics or political correctness.Published 14 months ago by Sancho Panzo
I have been collecting hundreds of books written by Scottish authors in order to devote the next several years to a project of immersing myself (a Scottish-American) deeply in the... Read morePublished 14 months ago by othoniaboys