Harold Bloom is a terrible critic
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Bloom is a reactionary tilting at windmills. He appeals to a popular but largely inaccurate idea that cutthroat postmodernists have shown up to wrest Shakespeare from the hands of the reading public and force them to read Mary Wroth instead. Who are the people saying this? A shadowy cast of Frenchified literary critics that Bloom never seriously engages with. Why, it's almost as if Bloom's idea that the discussion of canonicity in the eighties and early nineties is affirmative action designed to replace aesthetically superior authors with minority also-rans is a broad caricature that can't descend to taking the claims of those who sought to expand the canon seriously, because rather than being a serious scholarly claim, it's sky-is-falling nonsense for people too coy to say directly that they think "anti-racist is anti-white."
The peculiar thing, of course, is that Bloom's accuses his enemies of wanting to stop people from reading the works he considers canonical - which, though I'm sure one could dig up critics saying inflammatory things about the canon, let's be clear that there was never a moment in time where there was any real threat that the literature Bloom identifies as canonical would stop being taught or studied - but, in point of fact, his argument is really about suppressing his opponent's views. He insists that people shouldn't teach or study aesthetically inferior works. In effect, he says, "It's not about stopping people from reading books written by people of color/women; it's about ethics in aesthetic selection!"
This is dissatisfying to me for many reasons.
First, I think that describing the history of literature is central to what critics should do. Bloom's Anxiety of Influence work is an attempt to rewrite the history of literature so that it takes place only in the personal and aesthetic realm rather than on the larger stage of history. I don't know if you've ever looked at that work, but it's mystagogic bullshit, interesting in its goals but deeply unsatisfying in execution. To avoid giving a "political" analysis of literature, you have to segregate the aesthetic from the rest of history, since as soon as you bring history on to the scene, literature looks like another form of political and social writing. To me, accounts that put literature in the context of the wider scene of history are much more convincing and much more critically productive.