The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages

The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages

by Harold Bloom

Paperback(1st Riverhead ed)

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Overview

NATIONAL BESTSELLER
NOMINATED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD

“Heroically brave, formidably learned… The Western Canon is a passionate demonstration of why some writers have triumphantly escaped the oblivion in which time buries almost all human effort. It inspires hope… that what humanity has long cherished, posterity will also.”The New York Times Book Review

Literary critic Harold Bloom's The Western Canon is more than a required reading list — it is a vision. Infused with a love of learning, compelling in its arguments for a unifying written culture, it argues brilliantly against the politicization of literature and presents a guide to the great works of the western literary tradition and essential writers of the ages: the "Western Canon." Harold Bloom's book, much-discussed and praised in publications as diverse as The Economist and Entertainment Weekly, offers a dazzling display of erudition mixed with passion. For years to come it will serve as an inspiration to return to the joys of reading our literary tradition offers us.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781573225144
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/28/1995
Edition description: 1st Riverhead ed
Pages: 560
Sales rank: 236,863
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.98(h) x 1.19(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Harold Bloom is a Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University and a former Charles Eliot Norton Professor at Harvard. As The Paris Review has pointed out, "no critic in the English language since Samuel Johnson has been more prolific." His more than thirty books include The Best Poems of the English Language, The Art of Reading Poetry, and The Book of J. He is a MacArthur Prize Fellow, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the recipient of many awards and honorary degrees, including the Academy's Gold Medal for Belles Lettres and Criticism, the International Prize of Catalonia, and the Alfonso Reyes Prize of Mexico.

Alfred Kazin has said, "Bloom is all literature, (he) positively lives it," and The New York Times called him "the most original literary critic in America." He lives in New Haven and New York.

Hometown:

New York, New York and New Haven, Connecticut

Date of Birth:

July 11, 1930

Date of Death:

October 14, 2019

Place of Birth:

New York, New York

Education:

B.A., Cornell University, 1951; Ph.D., Yale University, 1955

Table of Contents

Preface and Prelude

I. On the Canon
1. An Elegy for the Canon

II. The Aristocratic Age
2. Shakespeare, Center of the Canon
3. The Strangeness of Dante: Ulysses and Beatrice
4. Chaucer: The Wife of Bath, the Pardoner, and Shakespearean Character
5. Cervantes: The Play of the World
6. Montaigne and Molière: The Canonical Elusiveness of the Truth
7. Milton's Satan and Shakespeare
8. Dr. Samuel Johnson, the Canonical Critic
9. Goethe's Faust, Part Two: The Countercanonical Poem

III. The Democratic Age
10. Canonical Memory in Early Wordsworth and Jane Austen's Persuasion
11. Walt Whitman as Center of the American Canon
12. Emily Dickinson: Blanks, Transports, the Dark
13. The Canonical Novel: Dickens's Bleak House, George Eliot's Middlemarch
14. Tolstoy and Heroism
15. Ibsen: Trolls and Peer Gynt

IV. The Chaotic Age
16. Freud: A Shakespearian Reading
17. Proust: The True Persuasion of Sexual Jealousy
18. Joyce's Agon with Shakespeare
19. Woolf's Orlando: Feminism as the Love of Reading
20. Kafka: Canonical Patience and "Indestructability"
21. Borges, Neruda, and Pessoa: Hispanic-Portuguese Whitman
22. Beckett...Joyce...Proust...Shakespeare

V. Cataloging the Canon
23. Elegiac Conclusion

Appendixes:
A. The Theocratic Age
B. The Aristocratic Age
C. The Democratic Age
D. The Chaotic Age: A Canonical Prophecy
Index

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