April 12, 2019 posted by

Harold Bloom’s list of the Great Books from the Western Canon. Read a free sample or buy Il canone occidentale by Harold Bloom. You can read this book with Apple Books on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch. Information is endlessly available to us; where shall wisdom be found?” is the crucial question with which renowned literary critic Harold Bloom begins this.

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But I am no Shakespearean scholar. I might not be a good reader, but unlike so many others, at least I friggin’ try to be one. Just so you know. On its own terms — that is, in providing an fanone as to how and why to read — I think this book comprehensively fails.

Bad writing is all one; great writing is scandalously diverse, and genres constitute authentic divisions within it. One of his favorite activities is to trace out literary ancestries, saying which writer descended from which. Jan 19, Tim blopm it liked it.

How to Read and Why

Aug 17, Graham rated it liked it Shelves: If nothing else, The Western Canon is an angry book. However, Bloom makes a compelling case for all of the central arguments of the book: Trivia About The Western Canon Readers came to it it hoping for good advice on how to read meaningfully but was treated to a long monologue on how bloom reads and why he loves it.

Hamlet is not even a case history if our thoughts are not at all our own. By that point in history, several cultures had been trying to improve and to contribute to that particular aspect of cultural life for centuries.

If it is competition he wants, he could Bloom offers an array of highly idiosyncratic opinions, which are often entertaining and sometimes quite insightful. In the very first paragraph of his essay on Milton, he writes “Shakespeare” 9 times.


He talks about what should be in a canon of literature, and then picks the works that he thinks form the Western Canon. Glad that you can believe the patriarchy is dead.

Odcidentale is also the era where the strength of both Russian and American literature begins. I made it to the poetry section and said adieu. Yes, it is important to preserve certain texts in American culture.

The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages

Recommended to Nisah by: This does not hide the fact that he understands literature less than your average ten-year-old and, moreover, that he is so unremittingly insistent upon some unchanging interpretation of literature, and so humorless in his consideration of writers and their writing, that his continued presence in the literary world is an insult to every occidemtale author he claims to praise in the book, Will Shakespeare included.

And his theory of influence, through which the artists of what he calls canonical works can be seen as choosing one another, is actually defensible, I think. This at first seems peppy and un-PC, then lightly racist and sexist, before it settles in that Bloom simply has very little interest in most non-Caucasian, non-male, non-Bloom concepts. Slow and turgid prose. Charles Dickens novel on the ravages caused kccidentale tuberculosis, Great Expectorations 3.

Camille Paglia said that this work was as much about Bloom himself as it was about the “best that has been written” one of many phrases that Bloom is quite of fond of using again and againand this is certainty true, as the irascible scholar’s personality comes through in every supple sentence.

To think that someone may read a book to enjoy the stories or the characters without making any life-shattering discoveries concerning human nature and the complexities of existence is nearly blasphemous. He does so directly.

If I had known what I was getting into, I would not have picked up this book. Thanks for telling us about the problem. It is the closest to secular transcendence that we may achieve in this life – it helps us get beyond despair, loss and death.


Bloom, conversely, declares, “We owe to Shakespeare not only our representation of canonne but much of our capacity for cognition. Perhaps this is just an example of the Biblical claim that “there is no new thing under the sun”.

Each book and author is shared, besides Shakespeare of course, in a few short pages. Despite disagreeing with all of his ideological views, particularly those concerned with harkld condemnation of feminist and post-colonial theory, there is no doubt that Bloom is intelligent and possesses a nearly encyclopedia knowledge of the traditional canon.

Ultimately, my biggest complaint is about how short the book is, how perfunctory it is – glossing over Blake and Chekov and others in the space of a few pages and treating only harolld smallest possible sample of their works one. View all 20 comments.

Difficile essere in disaccordo. But a good academic background should also include contemporary pieces. I was quite inclined to like him. Or perhaps you’ll re-read him twice Well The appendix, which provided a list of thousands of books through the ages became for me a foundation and starting point for exploring literature.

How to Read and Why by Harold Bloom

These are the questions and bkoom of This is one of my absolute favorite books. Shakespeare reads you far more profoundly than you can ever read him. Jun 05, Alejandro Teruel rated it liked it Shelves: Look, the book was inoffensive enough, just a bit pointless.

Bloom, and your old-fashioned thinking.