“Our Evening Land”

16 Jul
Harold Bloom, "The Western Canon: The Boo...

Harold Bloom, “The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages.” (Photo credit: nikkorsnapper)

Unfortunately, nothing ever will be the same because the art and passion of reading well and deeply, which was the foundation of our enterprise, depended upon people who were fanatical readers when they were still small children. Even devoted and solitary readers are now necessarily beleaguered, because they cannot be certain that fresh generations will rise up to prefer Shakespeare and Dante to all other writers. The shadows lengthen in our evening land, and we approach the second millennium expecting further shadowing.

– Harold Bloom, from “The Western Canon: The Books and Schools of the Ages”

Published seven years after Allan Bloom’s monumental “The Closing of the American Mind,” Harold Bloom’s “The Western Canon” sounded yet another alarm about the state of education in our universities, specifically about what is being read and how reading is approached. His opening and closing essays, “An Elegy for the Canon” and “Elegiac Conclusion” are worth the price of the book themselves. Read them and see how the American university is becoming an “evening land.”

What is it about Blooms anyway?


Posted by on July 16, 2013 in Authors, Education, Quotations, Reading, Worries


Tags: , , , , , , ,

3 responses to ““Our Evening Land”

  1. jubilare

    September 3, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    It is scary, but all is not yet lost. There are still quite a few young deep readers scattered across the nation, and as more people search for effective ways of educating their children, that number grows. We are still a minority, but a strong minority.

    • Rob

      September 4, 2013 at 12:20 am

      I pray you’re right. I do value your optimism!

      • jubilare

        September 4, 2013 at 2:35 am

        Oh, I’m no optimist. I’m a recovering cynic. 😉
        God has worked on me a lot to get me to see the light as well as the shadows.


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