×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

The Western Canon
     

The Western Canon

5.0 2
by Harold Bloom
 

See All Formats & Editions

Harold Bloom explores our Western literary tradition by concentrating on the works of twenty-six authors central to the Canon. He argues against ideology in literary criticism; he laments the loss of intellectual and aesthetic standards; he deplores multiculturalism, Marxism, feminism, neoconservatism, Afro-centrism, and the New Historicism.

Overview

Harold Bloom explores our Western literary tradition by concentrating on the works of twenty-six authors central to the Canon. He argues against ideology in literary criticism; he laments the loss of intellectual and aesthetic standards; he deplores multiculturalism, Marxism, feminism, neoconservatism, Afro-centrism, and the New Historicism.

Editorial Reviews

Stuart Whitwell
A review of 200 or 300 words cannot do justice to a book like this: it is the summation of a great critic's most fundamental beliefs--something like a dying Bernstein's last performance of Mahler's ninth, though in this case a lot less sad. In fact, this book of essays represents Bloom at his most celebratory, and there's a wonderful, vigorous energy about it. Why, one wonders, reading it, do we bother reading anybody "but" Shakespeare, Dante, or Chaucer? The argument for Shakespeare is particularly compelling. Bloom believes that Shakespeare "is" the canon: that he defines for the Western world the standards by which we judge all literature. And more: he defines for us what we are ourselves, what we understand of human nature. This argument, offered with Bloom's customary flare for the controversial, is akin to the remark that all philosophy is a footnote to Plato, and like it, is probably in large measure true. Thus, modern psychology doesn't add very much to what people could have already learned from reading Shakespeare because Shakespeare defines the limits of what we know: we can't get beyond or outside him. Certainly, experience teaches that Bloom is right; indeed, the evolution of human consciousness seems to have taken one of its periodic jolts forward about the time of Shakespeare, and he above all seems to have captured the entire scope of what was new. As Bloom points out, Shakespeare is universally adored, in all languages, and perhaps it is for this reason. The essays on Dante and Chaucer are almost equally powerful, though in a sense less awesome. And the brief remarks about the powerful movements of resentment trying to push apart these great pillars of the Western canon, though perspicacious, are melancholy and incidental. Get this book for the great essays on Shakespeare. For lovers of literature, probably nothing more powerful or in an odd way more religious will be written this year.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780547546483
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
06/17/2014
Sold by:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
578
Sales rank:
405,606
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

One of our most popular, respected, and controversial literary critics, Yale University professor Harold Bloom¿s books ¿ about, variously, Shakespeare, the Bible, and the classic literature ¿ are as erudite as they are accessible.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
New York, New York and New Haven, Connecticut
Date of Birth:
July 11, 1930
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
Education:
B.A., Cornell University, 1951; Ph.D., Yale University, 1955

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Are you going to help me or not," she sated before trying to climb a birch.