How to Read and Why

By Harold Bloom

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.

Format: Hardback
Release Date: 03 Aug 2000
Pages: 288
ISBN: 978-1-84115-038-3
Described in the New York Times as ‘ a colossus among critics … [with] an encyclopedic intellect, exuberant eccentricity, a massive love of literature. The legend of his genius spans four decades’ , Harold Bloom was born to a Yiddish-speaking family and learnt to speak English by reading the works of William Blake. He studied at Cornell, Pembroke College, Cambridge and Yale, and is Professor of Humanities at Yale and Professor of English at New York Universities, a regular contributor to literary journals and the recipient of many prizes and awards.