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 a greater depth of 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.
Reviews of How to Read and Why
- ‘How to Read and Why… is sensationally alert to the joys of reading; and practically every page has some useful insight, some energising challenge.’ INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
- ‘It would be possible to fill a review of Bloom’s work with his own phrases, so prodical is he of insight… he is never less than memorable.’ THE TIMES
- ‘Bloom’s love of great literature is contagious. It sent me off anew to Proust, to Flannery O’Connor, to Italo Calvino; and for the first time to many others.’ GUARDIAN
- ‘…there is a very great deal of profit and enjoyment to be had from these pages” FINANCIAL TIMES
- ‘Bloom is the kind of infuriating, eccentric and ultimately inspiring teacher that we all need. If you want a survey course of the best reading around start here.’ SUNDAY HERALD