Bloom Disavows Canonical List

During a lighthearted interview Harold Bloom washes his hands of the list of canonical works at the back of The Western Canon:

The list was not my idea. It was the idea of the publisher, the editor, and my agents. I fought it. I finally gave up. I hated it. I did it off the top of my head. I left out a lot of things that should be there and I probably put in a couple of things that I now would like to kick out. I kept it out of the Italian and the Swedish translations, but it’s in all the other translations—about 15 or 18 of them. I’m sick of the whole thing. All over the world, including here, people reviewed and attacked the list and didn’t read the book. So let’s agree right now, my dear. We will not mention the list.

[Update 17/11/13: Though I find Bloom’s Canon of some interest, I resisted it ideologically for its elitist white male privilege, but today I find Bloom has rightly countered that, “All canons, including our currently fashionable counter-canons are elitist.”]

[Via the essential Blographia Literaria]

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