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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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 haold their fate.

In these lectures on the value and the interpretation of literature Prof.

Pages to import images to Wikidata Articles created via the Article Wizard. 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.

Lawrencethough I th him in a way, Jane Austentoo. Canonical writers changed the medium, the language they were working in. To sum up Prof. Arnold Weinstein of Brown University was sympathetic to some of the schools of interpretation such as psychoanalysis following Freud, Marxism, postmodernism, feminism, and New Historicism, among others.


This page was last edited on 8 Decemberat To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: But along with Joseph Campbell, Prof. Cancel reply Connect with:. You are commenting using your Facebook account.

Bloom’s Elegy for Western Literature – The Western Canon

Bloom’s canon is in many ways mine. Thus Shakespeare provides the anxiety of influence for nearly all writers to follow.

The Books and the School of the Ages’; Books”. The top two quadrants are the viewpoints of an individual, the bottom two quadrants are the viewpoints of a group. 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”.

Bloom could most readily agree.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: So putting it all together:. 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 another tool of that socioeconomic repression of one class by another.

People who merely describe what is happening now don’t last. Weinstein was dubious about the first three, and posited the last two as better alternatives for the value of literature.


For Bloom, the cardinal error of the School, is that it fails to appreciate the sheer aesthetic power of canonical writers. It consists of those writers all other writers have to know and by whom they measure themselves.

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Canonical works demand great cognitive and imaginary effort on the part of the reader, and usually require rereading. The canon survives because of its aesthetic power, and despite any tendentiousness on the part of the creative artist.

Bloom’s Elegy for Western Literature – The Western Canon – The Satirist

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. Bloom come down on these points?

The fourth point is where Prof. The left two quadrants are the subjective viewpoints, and the right two quadrants are the objective viewpoints.