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The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages | [Harold Bloom]

The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages

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, Afrocentrism, and the New Historicism.
Insisting instead upon "the autonomy of aesthetic," Bloom places Shakespeare at the center of the Western Canon.....
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Publisher's Summary

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, Afrocentrism, and the New Historicism.
Insisting instead upon "the autonomy of aesthetic," Bloom places Shakespeare at the center of the Western Canon. Shakespeare has become the touchstone for all writers who come before and after him, whether playwrights, poets, or storytellers. In the creation of character, Bloom maintains, Shakespeare has no true precursor and has left no one after him untouched. Milton, Samuel Johnson, Goethe, Ibsen, Joyce, and Beckett were all indebted to him; Tolstoy and Freud rebelled against him; and while Dante, Wordsworth, Austen, Dickens, Whitman, Dickinson, Proust, and the modern Hispanic and Portuguese writers Borges, Neruda, and Pessoa are exquisite examples of how canonical writing is born of an originality fused with tradition.

Listen to a conversation with Harold Bloom.

©1994 by Harold Bloom; (P)1997 by Blackstone Audiobooks

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    AH-SAN WONG Los Angeles, CA USA 04-20-12
    AH-SAN WONG Los Angeles, CA USA 04-20-12

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    "The pronunciation of "Borges" is wrong!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Western Canon the most enjoyable?

    The book is too long for me. Having it on audio makes it feel like attending a series of lectures, and it's much easier.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Daniel Tel Aviv, Israel 11-23-11
    Daniel Tel Aviv, Israel 11-23-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Outstanding--a Giant Education"

    Beautifully written, beautifully read. If you want an introduction to the classics of Western literature, and a deeper understanding of what makes them classic look no further. This is it.

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    Mark Aptos, CA, United States 05-12-07
    Mark Aptos, CA, United States 05-12-07 Member Since 2006
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    "For every student and teacher of literature"

    This book helps reinforce why the classics are classic and why this generation needs to pass this wisdom to the next.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful

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