Sunday, November 13, 2005

Q&A Harold Bloom: Divine (mis)readings

First appeared in the Boston Globe.

ERUDITE, PROLIFIC, not infrequently melancholy--especially about being nearly 75--Harold Bloom occupies a unique position in American letters; he is, in effect, our reader laureate. A professor at Yale for five decades, he has tried in dozens of books to teach the country as a whole about literature, assigning reading lists along the way. Reading lists, in fact, are among his specialties: Bloom has labored to define that much-contested reading list known as the Western Canon, and, in the process, has thoroughly assimilated vast chunks of it.