On Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 11:51 PM, jacquesdebierue <firstname.lastname@example.org
> --- In email@example.com <rara-avis-l%40yahoogroups.com>,
> Brian Thornton
> <bthorntonwriter@...> wrote:
> > Mario-
> > You're attacking what you perceive to be the centrality of Bloom's
> > while in the same breath, saying that you're not commenting on his
> work as a
> > teacher and critic.
> I was referring to his influence on curricula. His teaching is between
> him and his students. I understand that the students were quite
> satisfied for many years. His specific writings on literature I am
> putting aside because they are not the point, I think. It's natural
> that he wrote about what he liked. All critics do that.
The two are bound together. Especially with a lightning rod such as Bloom.
It's easy to beat up on the guy for his ideas (and unfortunately it's
something of an on-again off-again pastime on this list), but just as Jim
Doherty thinks it's wrong to dismiss Spillane as a hack, so do I think it's
facile to dismiss Bloom.
> > I also find the notion that he is "Anglo-Centric" laughable.
> To me, it's quite obvious in his writings.
On that we disagree completely. And this is of course completely
> > How much of his stuff have you read? The guy wrote one entire book
> > dedicated to a lauditory treatment of the "J" writer from the Old
> > Testament. He raves about such non-English writers as Borges and
> > realists like Marques and then turns around and singles out Stendal,
> > Dostoevsky, Calvino and a host of others who didn't write in English for
> > high praise.
> > True, he thinks Shakespeare and Jane Austen were the two greatest
> > ever, but so what?
> So what? It's a pretty strange notion. Especially Austen.
Strange or not it's certainly a defensible one.
> He's got company there, including myself. I like Jim
> > Thompson's work a lot, but if you want to talk about a genius level
> work of
> > individual character studies and a further vision of what happens
> when these
> > full-bodied characters interact, THE KILLER INSIDE ME has nothing on
> > AND PREJUDICE.
> > Again agreed that he's a snob and that many of his ideas are so
> > old-fashioned as to define hide-bound. He's a terrific writer who
> > himself better than most fictions writers I've read. I've learned a ton
> > from his work, even the notions that I reject have spoken to me.
> Now that's
> > a powerful experience.
> Of course you can learn a lot from him. That's not under discussion.
It's absolutely under discussion. In fact, it's the entire point of the
> > And while it's true that one need not read a word of Shakespeare to
> lead a
> > nice life, I can't help but think that to go through without the
> > would be something akin to going through life colorblind: to be the
> > for want of the ability to see in the full spectrum of color.
> Consider this: Shakespeare was literally an accident (as we all are).
> The world would have the same colors without him. You would revere
> some other writer. Life is not defined by writers... it's not defined
> by anybody, it just is.
And this is just an email discussion list and this conversation is just an
exercise in reductio ad absurdum, and so this thread is now complete.
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