When discussing the current state of literature and its studies, one cannot escape the shadow of a man whose monolithic mind and omnipresent opus have shaped the study of literature almost single-handedly far beyond the scope of my life. As we look back nowadays on Samuel Johnson, so too future generations will look back on Harold Bloom, a critic of a fierce intellect that has come under fire lately for his rather impetuous proclamations about innumerable literary subjects including, most controversially, the Western Canon.
Now, I am not intending to approach the subject of the Western Canon in this post, although the State of the Canon today can be equated to the State of the Union in 1861, which is a fascinating conversation in its own right. I only hope to introduce a titan of intellect in the form of Harold Bloom who, without fail, can stir the passions of a lover of literature through the mere transcript of an interview with him. Here are two such interviews, one much longer than the other, but worth every line:
As anyone familiar with the Paris Review can tell you, their interviews are long, but their breadth is more than matched by their depth, and I highly encourage reading through their conversation, over a few days if necessary.
Whether or not we agree with his views on aestheticism, or with his dismissal of the “schools of resentment,” or countless other ideas and conversations he has created, we all can certainly appreciate that this man is an apogee of literary scholarship and demands to be read, as every great thinker deserves. Such thinkers and thoughts can serve we literary searchers as inspiration, in either affirmation or dissension, and spur us onward to create and discover for ourselves all that our art has to offer.
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