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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I will for sure use his list as a guide for future reading. Nov 07, Nelson Zagalo rated it did not like it Shelves: If we can’t do much better than this, no wonder the study of literature occidebtale in big trouble.

It is a psychological perspective of becoming a bibliophile.

Clear your mind of cant. There is still an understanding of the literary forefathers, but we want to step beyond them to blooom how they can apply today. That much of literature is a kind of genealogy in which mapping the filial debts a work owes is much of the point of reading.

He’s read and reread more that I ever could in a lifetime. Occiedntale the one hand, it purports to explain why one should read I’ll save you the time and money– read for enjoyment.

He is, for instance, baldly opposed to ALL feminist theorists and outright dismisses everything they say about anyone. There is a quote from the introduction to this book which says: While Dante is given his due, Shakespeare is the real center of this book.

I was hoping for a passionate defense of the canon, but I could not look past the harolc and bigotry. View all 8 comments. And no, that is not hyperbole on my part.


The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages by Harold Bloom

Cabone thoroughly believe in the canon and it is an overwheling greatness that one can never surmise how to describe it. He always tells us when he has chosen books that are his favorites, but at the same time he kinda blurs “my favorite” with “the absolute best of this author.

If you share this mantra, then you will enjoy The Western Canon. Bloom’s work was introduced to us piecemeal as a foil, a series of quotes here and there to wind up into a tight straw-man and then knock down. Maybe you’ll scrib down some autho Four stars does not mean a complete agreement with Bloom e. hraold

The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages

Yes, it is true that in his Prologue Bloom articulates five principles or suggestions or general observations about read I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Even deeper, though, it explicitly describes how we become connected to a story, a character, a moment. It is not accidental that historicists–critics who believe all of us to be overdetermined by societal history–should also regard literary characters as marks upon a page, and nothing more.

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. And reading “the wrong kind of literature” is ruining all of literature and us as readers. I am glad I picked this one. I have also read many of those he discusses, and reading about those was even more enjoyable in that I could engage in conversation with him about them.


Bloom also makes a wonderful case for reading the old-fashioned classics, but I do wish he could refrain from easy cheap shots like the one about young people watching too much television. His book isn’t very Shakespearean though, so I wouldn’t bother reading it. Bloom is obsessed with Shakespeare to say the very least.

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. I enjoy Shakespeare greatly, but I do not expect him to inform every aspect of my reading life, and the theme grew tedious rather than enlightening.

Cultural prophecy is always a mug’s game. Why Not to Read This Book Harold Bloom definitely gets off on Shakespeare, and his decision on how good other writers are is based off the criteria of how Shakespearean they are. 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.

I admire Harold Bloom, which makes me a bit bias when reading any of his criticisms. What characters should we turn to so we can meet that need? DNF after a good pages and the final chapter.