The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages

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The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages
File:The Western Canon.png
Cover of the first edition
Author Harold Bloom
Language English
Subject Literature
Genre Lua error in Module:Wikidata at line 245: invalid escape sequence near '"^'.
Publisher Harcourt Brace
Publication date
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Media type Print (hardcover and paperback)
Pages Lua error in Module:Wikidata at line 245: invalid escape sequence near '"^'.
ISBN 978-1-57322-514-4
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The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages is a 1994 book by Harold Bloom on Western literature, in which he defends the concept of the Western canon by discussing 26 writers whom he sees as central to the canon. The Western Canon is Bloom's best-known book alongside The Anxiety of Influence, and was a surprise bestseller upon its release in the United States.

Summary

Bloom defends the concept of the Western canon by discussing 26 writers whom he sees as central to the canon:[1][2]

Bloom argues against what he calls the "School of Resentment", which includes feminist literary criticism, Marxist literary criticism, Lacanians, New Historicism, Deconstructionists, and semioticians. The Western Canon includes four appendices listing works that Bloom at the time considered canonical, stretching from earliest scriptures to Tony Kushner's Angels in America. Bloom would later disown the list, saying that it was written at his editor's insistence and distracted from the book's intention.[3]

Reception

Norman Fruman wrote that "The Western Canon is a heroically brave, formidably learned and often unbearably sad response to the present state of the humanities".[4]

A. S. Byatt wrote:

Bloom's canon is in many ways mine. It consists of those writers all other writers have to know and by whom they measure themselves. A culture's canon is an evolving consensus of individual canons. Canonical writers changed the medium, the language they were working in. People who merely describe what is happening now don't last. Mine includes writers I don't necessarily like. D.H. Lawrence, though I hate him in a way, Jane Austen, too.[5]

References

  1. Harold Bloom, The Western Canon, 1994, p. 2
  2. Tucker, Ken (21 October 1994). "Book Review: 'The Western Canon: The Books and the School of the Ages'; Books". EW.com. Retrieved 2011-05-01.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Pearson, James. "Harold Bloom [Interview]". Vice Magazine. Retrieved 29 September 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Fruman, Norma (9 October 1994). "Bloom at Thermopylae". The New York Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Lawrence, Tim; Guttridge, Peter. "Reloading the ancient canon". The Independent (London). 21 November 1994.

External links