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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This is also the era where the strength of both Russian and American literature begins. This section is wide-ranging and not arranged chronologically, and because he proceeds topically it is easier for the reader to follow his insights when he compares and contrasts poets whom at first blush might not seem to be related.

He says along with your attention you have to bring your whole self to the reading. Yes, it is important to preserve certain texts in American culture.

The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages

As someone who posits that literature should be Really dull and pedantic view of literature, IMO. Dante, Chaucer, Cervantes, and Montaigne. Feb 02, Abby rated it it was ok Shelves: If his conclusion may be open to some debate, his analysis and insights are interesting and useful.

It is hard for me to know what to make of all this. Dec 10, Allie rated it it was ok Shelves: I knew him to be a literary critic and scholar and therefore assumed he would be treating the topic of reading and literature to an academic analysis.

How to Read and Why by Harold Bloom

He’s not interested in engaging the average reader, just impressing some etherial elite group somewhere. Harold Bloom really is a cantankerous old thing, so hard to please and yet so seemingly pleased with himself.


So he decides to fight “the politics of multiculturalism” and blpom alleged redundant political correctness of modern views on literature that have caused the “degeneracy of literary studies” by claiming that the reason why the white European males dominate the traditional literary canon is because they have a truth and a genius within them that women, people of colour, those of “various sexual persuasions”, and other minorities just don’t have.

Freud’s skepticism of Shakespeare’s authorship aside, Bloom’s claim that Shakespeare invented the psyche is never adequately explained.

I reject that choice. But, alas, I was not prepared for Bloom’s massive erudition, and his prologue pretty much finished me off.

This is one of my absolute favorite books. The School of Resentment, what Bloom labels as Feminism, Socialism, Deconstructionism and anything Focault ovewhelms Bloom’s enmitious relationship with how readers now interpret literature. In the very first paragraph of his essay on Milton, he writes “Shakespeare” 9 times.

There is something incantatory about it.

Dec 13, Simone rated it cnaone not like it Shelves: I’m not saying he isn’t important or relevant to canon literature, but great literature didn’t just begin or happen when he started writing. I mean, these books and plays and poems have survived for centuries and every new generation of readers finds something new that resonates with us. For Bloom, there is only 1 possible interpretation of a work and that is what the author intended.

Il canone occidentale by Harold Bloom on Apple Books

Or perhaps you’ll re-read him twice Well Bloom just rants about dreary feminists and multiculturalists who force us to read b-a-a-d books. Inspiring and informative in equal and large measure. He takes the work at hand and draws a theory of human nature and of human social life from it. Readers came to it it hoping bloon good advice on how to read meaningfully but was treated to a long monologue on how bloom reads and kccidentale he loves it. In the unlikely event that literary theory again becomes relevant to mainstream society, or even mainstream academia for that matter, should there ever be a FOX News of theory, Harold Bloom would be the ideal candidate for the role of anchor.


I finally gave up. Not his fault that white European males are born with that extra something special. DNF after a good pages and the final chapter.

How to Read and Why

Alas, Bloom instead writes about Shakespeare inventing the psyche and gabbing about Freud. View all 4 comments. They all loved canonical literature just as much as Harold Bloom, I venture to say. But almost no author is original enough to outperform every one of their literary forebears. That goes a good way towards compensating for all the bile. It’s like his own special anthology, all with insightful but rather aimless annotations.

I’m not quite sure how it is that Bloom has become so highly regarded in the study of literature, because he basically has one weapon in his arsenal which he pulls out at nearly every juncture. Harold Bloom is an elitist, a snob, a horrible sexist, and as an Ivy League professor, could occldentale less. View all 8 comments. Many of those poems that I memorized then stick with me now, more than a century later, deeply enriching my life and experience.

In this and in the remaining lists, I sometimes do not mention individual works by a canonical master, and in other instances I attempt to call attention to authors and books that I consider canonical but rather neglected.