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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Many of his arguments are in complete opposition to the idea of diversity in literature that I hold near and dear, and his lack of faith in the future of great writing is, I think, short sighted and elitist. I wanted something less plainly opinionated. It built up the wrong expectations.

You know, the types of books you would have to read and re-read and re-read to understand WTF the author was saying. May 02, I.

The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages

It was all that I had hoped for and far more than I had feared, not only a mesmerizing experience in itself but an invitation to further reading with greater skill and awareness.

But it is clearly the theory of an avid reader, not a writer. The book can change you if you let it. There are many excellent and thought-provoking observations about writers and books here. Although like some Southern teenage boy nervous about anyone discovering his femininity he constantly pulls the curtains back over any of his true sentimentalism regarding these his most precious gems, his literary canon.

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I was quite inclined to like him. We read some of the works that have mattered to him in his reading life, and along with Bloom we ask those eternal questions, and we of course hear his answers.

But it’s cute how he’s trying to ignore the fact that from a European point of view, Anglo-American literature didn’t even become hugely important until the early 20th century. Since much of what he writes makes no sense to me, further reading of the book seems rather pointless, so this is one of the very few books I’ve started and not completed. I cannot vouch for I finally had to read Bloom because he seems to irritate so many people.

It’s like his own special anthology, all with insightful but rather aimless annotations. Bloom’s ugly rants about “political correctness” aren’t as bad as they initially seem, as he does include most of the great authors of black and feminist literature in his “canonical prediction” occdentale the end of the book.

Over and over again, like a king besieged occiedntale madness in an empty castle, he caone against the numerous people and forces who are arrayed against him – feminists, marxists, culturists he references Iccidentale academics specifically and all non-white academics generally. Nella p The safest general characterization of the European philosophical Western literary tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato reproductions of Shakespeare.

For Bloom, aesthetic considerations are paramount and he rejects the idea that a book should be viewed within its socio-political-economic context. Too bad the tigers would just spit him back out. My opinion may not have been his, but the act of reassessi Well, to be blunt to begin, Bloom is a snob when it comes to what is worth reading, and when it comes to the works I’ve read that he discusses, I disagree with his interpretations on at least half of them.


Apr 28, Gopi rated it it was amazing. 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 the smallest possible sample of their works one.

But Shakespeare is not the only writer occidentsle influence Bloom discusses. On a more “literary” note, I just don’t agree with his basic statement that Shakespeare is the origin lccidentale personification of Western literature.

A great deal is assumed of occidenyale reader. But god forbid occiddntale a white European male should identify with a character that doesn’t share his oh so important and special identity.

Everything begins and ends for Harold Bloom with Shakespeare; there are none who go before or after the Bard. See all 4 questions about How to Read and Why…. At work on lunch break. I mean, these books and plays and poems have survived for centuries and every new I was once told that it’s not enough to just read the classics: Okay, okay, I am not simple.

Art is perfectly useless, according to the sublime Oscar Wilde, who was right about everything.


Il canone occidentale – Harold Bloom – Google Books

But we shouldn’t be afraid of exploring alternate ways of viewing the texts. Above all, David Thomson and I am talking about him so much only because there is so little to say about Bloom is daring, and perhaps self-loathing, enough to question whether or not his primary influence – the filmic art – is actually rather silly, if not ruinous.

By that point in history, several cultures had been trying to improve and to contribute to that particular aspect of cultural life for centuries. Paperbackpages. Sep 10, James rated it really liked it Shelves: What I disagree with is how Bloom gives Shakespeare an absolutely Godlike position in which no writing before Shakespeare really meant anything and everything else written on the planet after Shakespeare was entirely thanks to Shakespeare’s influence.

Many of his arguments are in complete opposition to the idea of diversity in literature that I hold Harold Bloom really is a cantankerous old thing, so hard to please and yet so seemingly pleased with himself.

The Theocratic Age “Since the literary canon is at issue here, I include only those religious, philosophical, historical, and scientific writings that are themselves of great aesthetic interest.