Oct 24, 2019
In this week’s episode, Scott and Karl pay homage to the recently deceased Harold Bloom, a great ally to our mission at Online Great Books.
Once hailed the most notorious literary critic in America, Bloom was a professor of humanities at Yale and a fierce defender of canonicity. His version of the canon, with Shakespeare reigning at its center, is far more extensive than the Adlerian version.
Scott and Karl read Chapter 1 of Bloom’s The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages. The two discuss what makes this book so controversial to begin with, the problems with postmodernism, and the aesthetic value of books.
What is your goal in reading the canon? Do you read because it’s good for you or just because it’s good? According to Karl, your goal should be “to seek as hard a pleasure as you can.” Here at OGB, we welcome the simplicity in reading from the canon– it narrows down how you should be spending your time. We think Dr. Bloom would agree.
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