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Discussed and debated, revered and reviled, Bloom's tome reinvigorates and re-examines Western Literature, arguing against the politicization of reading. His erudite passion will encourage you to hurry and finish his book so you can pick up Shakespeare, Austen and Dickens once again to rediscover their original magic. In addition, his appendix listing of the "future" canon - the books today that will be timeless tomorrow - is sure to be the template for future debate.
Any new "real" book by Bloom (humanities, Yale Univ.), as opposed to one containing recycled essays, is a major event. This salvo in defense of the Western canon is particularly important. Bloom pulls few punches in arguing the importance of influence and tradition. Shakespeare is the centerpiece here, and 25 other pivotal authors are considered in relationship to him, each other, and their respective genres in a way too complex to explain. Coverage is multinational and multigenerational. To get much out of this work, readers will have to have read very broadly and deeply. The main authors are only touchstones; any given page is likely to reference four or five authors, and hundreds are actually discussed. Some will see this as reactionary, others as visionary; it should cause some stir in the literary establishment. Essential for most academic and large public libraries.
Robert E. Brown, Onondaga Cty. P.L., Syracuse, N.Y.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A little too much maundering at first which took away from the scholarship.Published 15 months ago by James F. Humphries
I bought this book hoping to learn more about certain works I love, and other works I am not yet familiar with. Read morePublished on June 17 2004
He is dead on right about the university system collapsing into madness. At my college alone(U of Iowa), they have 5 classes about african american Literature, and one devoted to... Read morePublished on April 8 2004
I discovered this book in high school, and was pleased to find someone who thoughts books were as important and exciting as I did. Read morePublished on June 11 2003 by Gulley Jimson
Just one question: where is T.S.Eliot?.Hate this book.Bloom is not a serious critic and if you want one, i can give you now: T.S.ELIOT. End of story. Read morePublished on May 4 2003
Like those in Blake, Dostoevsky, and Dickinson, the ideas in The Western Canon caused me great mental strife. Read morePublished on Nov. 20 2002 by B. C. White
Well I think any list of books, and this one is only 26 items long, is absurdly reductive. I also think any discussion of "the canon" would benefit from perhaps a short history of... Read morePublished on Feb. 5 2002 by Doug Anderson
You will see below a review which points out a perceived contradiction in Bloom's book. Apparently, according to the reviewer, Bloom's idea that the value of a work is primarily... Read morePublished on Jan. 11 2002 by J. Brown