Harold Bloom

I realized early on that the academy and the literary world alike--and I donít think there really is a distinction between the two--are always dominated by fools, knaves, charlatans and bureaucrats. And that being the case, any human being, male or female, of whatever status, who has a voice of her or his own, is not going to be liked.

The true use of Shakespeare or of Cervantes, of Homer or of Dante, of Chaucer or of Rabelais, is to augment oneís own growing inner self. . . . The mindís dialogue with itself is not primarily a social reality. All that the Western Canon can bring one is the proper use of oneís own solitude, that solitude whose final form is oneís confrontation with oneís own mortality.

We possess the Canon because we are mortal and also rather belated. There is only so much time, and time must have a stop, while there is more to read than there ever was before. From the Yahwist and Homer to Freud, Kafka, and Beckett is a journey of nearly three millennia. Since that voyage goes past harbors as infinite as Dante, Chaucer, Montaigne, Shakespeare, and Tolstoy, all of whom amply compensate a lifetimeís rereadings, we are in the pragmatic dilemma of excluding something else each time we read or reread extensively.


Memorable Quotations: Jewish Writers

Memorable Quotations: Jewish Writers of the Past
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Memorable Quotations: Critics (A - L)

Memorable Quotations: Critics (M - Z)

Memorable Quotations: Women Critics

Memorable Quotations: Journalists (A - L)

Memorable Quotations: Journalists (M - Z)

Memorable Quotations: Journalists of the Past
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