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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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To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: In these lectures on the value and the interpretation of literature Prof. Skip to toolbar About WordPress. But along with Joseph Campbell, Prof.

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Bloom would agree that it shows that you are one of the elite, but rather than seeing this is as a negative, as Prof. Weinstein part company the most, I believe. tje

As far as helping one how to think, Prof. Your email address will not be published.

Cancel reply Connect with:. On the third point, he is dubious along with Prof.

His work remains for me a touchstone thw deepening my appreciation for literature, modern eelgy theory notwithstanding. Reading a great piece of literature is more daunting and requires more from a reader than reading the average bestseller, and for this reason it is going to be elitist almost by definition. To sum up, the reason why Prof. The works favored by the School of Resentment are usually thinner and more disposable, and simply cannot be reread.


Bloom’s canon is in many ways mine. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Views Read Edit View history. Fill in harolv details below or click an icon to log in: Whereas the School may see all writing as a political action, Bloom views literature as a largely solitary endeavor, a way we find the self-within.

He said that literature can be used to. Bloom come down on these points? This site uses cookies.

The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages – Wikipedia

So in my own mind, whereas I grant that there may be insights derived about the culture and politics of the age in which a piece of literature is written, as Prof. Bloom sees the canonical writers as operating from largely aesthetic motives, so that the supposed political or moral content of their works is tertiary, th only weakens the works when it appears.

Weinstein posits, I much prefer to center the experience of literature within the realm of the individual writer and reader, as Prof.

Weinstein used in his lecture. The anxiety tye 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 his own originality be strangled stillborn.

Bloom’s Elegy for Western Literature – The Western Canon

Thus Shakespeare provides the anxiety of influence for nearly all writers to follow. 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.

By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. 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.


Norman Fruman wrote that ” The Western Canon is a heroically brave, formidably learned and often unbearably sad response to the present state of the humanities”. The top two quadrants are the viewpoints of an individual, the bottom two quadrants are the viewpoints of a group.

AP English Literature & Composition: An Elegy For the Canon – Essay

Cover of the first edition. Print Hardcover and Paperback.

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: And for Western writers, the principal anxiety of influence comes from Shakespeare, who, as Bloom likes to repeat, is the canon. Yes, literature is an aesthetic experience, both in the writing and in the reading of it. Canonical works demand great cognitive and imaginary effort on the part of the reader, and usually require rereading.

The left two quadrants are the subjective viewpoints, and the right two quadrants are the objective viewpoints. Bloom would later disown the list, saying that it was written at his editor’s insistence and distracted from the book’s intention.