RARA-AVIS: Re: Bloom and Shakespeare

From: Gonzalo Baeza (gbaeza@gmail.com)
Date: 28 Feb 2009

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    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "gsp.schoo@..." <gsp.schoo@...> wrote:

    > Gonzalo: Of course Shakespeare is Anglo-centric. He is the writer
    most credited with inspiring and influencing the English view of the world, which in no small part led them to create the biggest empire in the history of the world, spreading their cultural influence around the world thereby making Shakespeare the most influential writer in the world. That's not a knock against any non-Anglo writer. But the title of "best" is always arbitrary, and the powerful get to make the arbitrary decisions. If they make decisions that work for them they get to stay powerful and make more such determinations.

    Kerry: I wasn't accusing Shakespeare of being Anglo-centric. That would be absurd. What I was saying is that Bloom could be considered Anglo-centric if he in fact said that Shakespeare was "the" writer that defined what a person was for Europeans. This, because there were other writers at the time such as Cervantes who were just as influential. I don't know whether the British empire was larger than the Spanish empire either demographically or economically (I sincerely don't know, pardon my ignorance) but Cervantes' influence in both Europe and the Spanish-speaking world is of a magnitude that makes me question the validity of Bloom's assertion. Having said that, I don't consider it a knock on non-Anglo writers but just an exaggerated judgment on his part.


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