A glance at the May issue of "Brill's Content":
Harold Bloom on restoring the art of reading

Harold Bloom, the literary critic and professor of English at
New York University, offers, in an excerpt from his forthcoming
"How to Read and Why," five principles to restore the art of
reading. First, he admonishes, "Clear your mind of cant" --
including that of the academic variety, among which Mr. Bloom
includes multiculturalism and gender studies. Second, "Do not
attempt to improve your neighbor ... by how or what you read.
Self-improvement is a large enough project for your mind and
spirit." Instead, read by a third principle: "the inner light"
of the authentic reader, undimmed by politics, agendas, or
histrionics. Fourth, trust oneself; fifth, recover the sense of
the ironic. With this last principle, however, Mr. Bloom is
"close to despair, since you can no more teach someone to be
ironic than you can instruct them to become solitary. And yet
the loss of irony is the death of reading." In essence, to "read
human sentiments in human language you must be able to read
humanly, with all of you. ... Read deeply, not to believe, not
to accept, not to contradict, but to learn to share in that one
nature that writes and reads." The article is not available
online, but more information about the magazine may be found at

Norman A. Stahl, Acting Chair
Department of Literacy,
Intercultural and Language Education
GH 223c
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL  60115

(815) 753-9032 {office}
(815) 753-8563 (FAX)

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