Harold Bloom: The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages

(2419 words)
  • Graham Allen (University College Cork)

The Western Canon is the most important of Harold Bloom's recent books. Bloom's “recent” work can be traced back to Ruin the Sacred Truths: Poetry and Belief from the Bible to the Present (Cambridge, Mass. and London: Harvard University Press, 1989), a text in which he decisively shifted his critical focus from an analysis of the anxiety of influence to the origins of that anxiety in the great authors of the Western tradition: the J-writer (the earliest Biblical author), Dante and above all Shakespeare. Bloom's The Western Canon is his most direct and sustained defence of the originality of the great writers within the Western literary tradition or Canon (Bloom goes so far in this text as to refer to world …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Allen, Graham. "The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 November 2002
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=10619, accessed 28 September 2016.]