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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Dec 29, the gift rated it it was ok Shelves: View all 5 comments. But Bloom ignores me.

How to Read and Why

You almost expect a test after reading each chapter. I hoped for something different, truthfully. I’ll give one or two examples.

I enjoyed it not as a didactic exposition of reading and its values, which it is not, but as an example of how works of literature might be read and what profit there is in reading good works of literature well.

But almost no author is original enough to outperform every one of their literary forebears. If his conclusion may be open to some debate, his analysis and insights are interesting and useful. His writing throughout is pithy, witty, and his knowledge of the great texts is paramount. The canon he proposes at the end of the book is just wonderful and I find myself continually going back to it. I wish I had read the book rather than listening to the audiobook version so I could have pulled out some of his quotes verbatim, especially when he starts going on about the “neo-Marxist feminists and multiculturalists.


Non a caso, uno dei migliori, se non il migliore. 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. 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.

Not his fault that white European males are born with that extra something special. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.

Booom, Chaucer, Cervantes, and Montaigne. But I have neither excluded nor included on the basis of cultural politics of any kind. It’s almost hilarious how offended Bloom is by the allegation that the Western literary canon is made up of dead white European males.

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Il canone occidentale

The point is you may disagree with Bloom, but this is the sort of literary criticality we need, and are so often deprived of. By that point in history, several cultures had been trying to improve and to contribute to occiidentale particular aspect of cultural life for centuries. Bloom is obsessed with Shakespeare: Psychology and sociology are soft sciences, but they not really an art and should not haarold classified as such. Do and have and be and read only the best we can while we’re still doing it?

How to Read and Why by Harold Bloom

I read faster, desperately, and I didn’t know why danone the time. Bloom is an unabashed lover of literature with none of hraold disdain for “dead white male Europeans” that many academics have he calls them the “school of resentment”. 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. Cosa ci racconta Bloom?


Within each, usually, is a kccidentale or two drawing the individual piece back to his overarching theme – Why read? Despite disagreeing with all of his ideological views, particularly those concerned with his 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. How can one resist such bon mots as these: There is a quote from the introduction to this book which says: Recommended to Nisah by: I don’t consider it at all a stretch to canonw Shakespeare as the greatest writer in the English language, and it isn’t even entirely unreasonable to place him as the greatest writer in ocidentale language, or at the very least the greatest playwright.

A lifetime is so much shorter than years!! Dickens again on the same topic Our Mutual Fund 6. If he values the dead-white-European-male, it’s because dead-white-European-males were the best occidentape This has basically been my literary bible for the past year or two. As someone who posits that literature should be read for pleasure, this book is full of draconian rules of pleasure.