@JananGanesh on Harold Bloom. American Writer comments

Headline:Harold Bloom’s lessons for left and right

Sub-headline: The late American scholar reminds us that not all opinions are equal

Is it Mr. Ganesh’s argument that there is a commonality between Harold Bloom , Allen Bloom and Saul Bellow other that their Jewishness? That being the rescue of  the Western Canon as their common project?  Allen Bloom’s hysterical anti-student manifesto , The Closing of the American Mind,  published in 1987, whose star players were narcissistic, not to speak of rock and roll addled students, for which Bellow wrote its introduction. And subsequently wrote his final novel, a roman a clef  of Allen Bloom’s  life  ‘Ravelstein‘. For the reader who might be interested Robert L. Stone collected a series of answers to Allen Bloom’s book titled Essays on the Closing of the American Mind in 1989. I have ‘Closing’ and ‘Essays’ on my desk, the breakfast table.

It was a child of migrants from the Pale of Settlement who stuck up for the western canon. It was another descendant of foreigners, Allan Bloom, no relation, who made a similar case with The Closing of the American Mind seven years earlier. Saul Bellow, a Russo-Canadian, could never cram enough canonical references into his novels, either.

Just where might the regular reader put Mr. Ganesh’s enthusiasm for the late Tom Wolfe’s scribblings ? Even though his last, ‘The Kingdom Of Speech’, is his ideologically fueled attack on Chomsky and Darwin. See Jerry A. Coyne’s review of ‘Kingdom’:

Headline: His white suit unsullied by research, Tom Wolfe tries to take down Charles Darwin and Noam Chomsky


If  the reader of American writing can name Hemingway as a ‘Field and Stream’ writer, might that reader name Wolfe to be an example of the now dead ‘New Journalism‘, and his doorstop novels as its literary twin?

American Writer




About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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