A new book by America’s leading literary critic on the uses of deep reading. Practical, inspirational and learned ‘How to Read and Why’ is Bloom’s manifesto for the preponderance of written culture.
In the vastly influential ‘The Western Canon’, Harold Bloom outlined what we should read to understand the individual self. ‘How to Read and Why’ continues the argument and focusses on how we use literature in order to gain deeper self-awareness. Poems, stories, novels, plays and parables are all analysed as forms of writing as immersion, the language of individuality and inwardness: Shakespeare’s sonnets, the short stories of Hemingway and de Cervantes, the novels of Proust and Calvino, Sophocles’s ‘Oedipus Rex’ and Mark’s Gospel. Harold Bloom also addresses the idea of why we read: increased individuality, respite from visual bombardment, a return to ‘deep feeling’ and ‘deep thinking’.
‘How to Read and Why’ is an essential book for any reader, an introduction to the world of written culture, an inspirational self-help book for students and teachers alike.