Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A collection of quotes and thoughts by Harold Bloom on western-canon, books, hamlet, read, why, obituary, true, poem, love, passion, criticism, cry, believe and myth.

59 Useful Quotes By Harold Bloom On Strength, Change, Psychology And More

Quick Facts

Famous As: Literary historian, Writer, Professor, Literary critic, Journalist

Born On: July 11, 1930

Born In: New York City

Harold Bloom is an eminent American literary critic and author. He is also a Sterling Professor of ‘Humanities' at ‘Yale University’. He has also written more than forty books that express his thoughts and opinions on vast range of topics including religion, literary criticism and other novels. Besides being an author, he has also been an editor and has edited several anthologies for Chelsea House publishing which revolve around literary and philosophical figures. His books and writings have been translated in approximately 40 other languages. In early 1990s, Bloom gained public recognition in the United States as a commentator during the canon wars. Following is a corpus of some famous thoughts, opinions and viewpoints that the distinguished critic has shared through his writings, interviews, public utterances, works, books and life. Go through the quotes and sayings by Harold Bloom on death, school thinking, success, progress, therapy, fails, rival, encouragement, inheritance, anxiety, live, reading, sympathy etc and get inspired.

Reading well is one of the great pleasures that solitude can afford you.

Harold Bloom

Real reading is a lonely activity.

Harold Bloom

We read to find ourselves, more fully and more strangely than otherwise we could hope to find.

Harold Bloom

Everyone wants a prodigy to fail; it makes our mediocrity more bearable.

Harold Bloom

I am not unique in my elegiac sadness at watching reading die, in the era that celebrates Stephen King and J.K. Rowling rather than Charles Dickens and Lewis Carroll.

Harold Bloom

We read frequently if unknowingly, in quest of a mind more original than our own.

Harold Bloom

It is hard to go on living without some hope of encountering the extraordinary.

Harold Bloom

I am naive enough to read incessantly because I cannot, on my own, get to know enough people profoundly enough.

Harold Bloom

Read deeply, not to believe, not to accept, not to contradict, but to learn to share in that one nature that writes and reads.

Harold Bloom

We all fear loneliness, madness, dying. Shakespeare and Walt Whitman, Leopardi and Hart Crane will not cure those fears. And yet these poets bring us fire and light.

Harold Bloom

We read, frequently if not unknowingly, in search of a mind more original than our own.

Harold Bloom

What matters in literature in the end is surely the idiosyncratic, the individual, the flavor or the color of a particular human suffering.

Harold Bloom

The art and passion of reading well and deeply is waning, but [Jane] Austen still inspires people to become fanatical readers.

Harold Bloom

Reading well is one of the greatest pleasures that solitude can afford you.

Harold Bloom

Socrates, in Plato, formulates ideas of order: the Iliad, like Shakespeare, knows that a violent disorder is a great order.

Harold Bloom

Aesthetic criticism returns us to the autonomy of imaginative literature and the sovereignty of the solitary soul, the reader not as a person in society but as the deep self, our ultimate inwardness.

Harold Bloom

We'll try this first. If it doesn't work, we'll try something else. That's life, isn't it?

Harold Bloom

(Wallace) Stevens turns to the idea of the weather precisely as the religious idea turns to the idea of God.

Harold Bloom

I think the Greek New Testament is the strongest and most successful misreading of a great prior text in the entire history of influence.

Harold Bloom

I define influence simply as literary love, tempered by defense. The defenses vary from poet to poet. But the overwhelming presence of love is vital to understanding how great literature works.

Harold Bloom

Until you become yourself," Bloom avers, "what benefit can you be to others.

Harold Bloom

Consciousness is the materia poetica that Shakespeare sculpts as Michelangelo sculpts marble. We feel the consciousness of Hamlet or Iago, and our own consciousness strangely expands.

Harold Bloom

Pragmatically, aesthetic value can be recognized or experienced, but it cannot be conveyed to those who are incapable of grasping its sensations and perceptions. To quarrel on its behalf is always a blunder.

Harold Bloom

At our present bad moment, we need above all to recover our sense of literary individuality and of poetic autonomy.

Harold Bloom

Marxism, famously a cry of pain rather than a science, has had its poets, but so has every other major religious heresy.

Harold Bloom

(Wallace) Stevens turns to the idea of the weather precisely as the religious man turns to the idea of God.

Harold Bloom

The originals are not original, but that Emersonian irony yield to the Emersonian pragmatism that the inventor knows how to borrow.

Harold Bloom

Not a moment passes these days without fresh rushes of academic lemmings off the cliffs they proclaim the political responsibilities of the critic, but eventually all this moralizing will subside.

Harold Bloom

The work of great poetry is to aid us to become free artists ourselves...The art of reading poetry is an authentic training in the augmentation of consciousness, perhaps the most authentic of healthy modes.

Harold Bloom

If we read the Western Canon in order to form our social, political, or personal moral values, I firmly believe we will become monsters of selfishness and exploitation.

Harold Bloom

All writers are to some extent inventors, describing people as they would like to see them in life.

Harold Bloom

Thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt be any more.

Harold Bloom

Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee, and the sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments in thee, and the whole remnant of thee will I scatter into all the winds.

Harold Bloom

Stephen King is Cervantes compared with David Foster Wallace. We have no standards left.

Harold Bloom

All canonical writing possesses the quality "of making you feel strangeness at home.

Harold Bloom

Beckett: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

Harold Bloom

To condemn Wordsworth for not writing verse of political and social protest, or for having forsaken the revolution, is to cross the final divide between academic arrogance and moral smugness.

Harold Bloom

There is no God but God, and his name is William Shakespeare.

Harold Bloom

He can’t think, he can’t write. There’s no discernible talent.

Harold Bloom

Calling a work of sufficient literary power either religious or secular is a political decision, not an aesthetic one.

Harold Bloom

Karl Marx is irrelevant to many millions of them because, in America, religion is the poetry of the people and not their opiate.

Harold Bloom

Shakespeare's exquisite imagining belies our total inability to live in the present moment.

Harold Bloom

We read, I think, to repair our solitude, though pragmatically the better we read, the more solitary we become.

Harold Bloom

Shakespeare will not make us better and will not make us worse, but he may allow us to overhear ourselves when we talk to ourselves.

Harold Bloom

At eighty-four, I can only write the way I go on teaching, personally and passionately.

Harold Bloom

To read in the service of any ideology is not to read at all. The mind's dialogue with itself is not primarily a social reality. All that the Western canon can bring one is the proper use of one's own solitude.

Harold Bloom

One breaks into the canon only by aesthetic strength.

Harold Bloom

He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.

Harold Bloom

A poem, novel, or play acquires all of humanity's disorders, including the fear of mortality

Harold Bloom

Infinite Jest’ is just awful. It seems ridiculous to have to say it.

Harold Bloom

Beckett ... Joyce ... Proust ... Shakespeare

Harold Bloom

Like television, motion pictures, and computers, [Stephen] King has replaced reading...the triumph of the genial King is a large emblem of the failures of American education.

Harold Bloom

My introduction, implicitly echoing Oscar Wilde's remark that all bad poetry is sincere, grants the benign social decency of [Stephen] King's fictions.

Harold Bloom

Originality must compound with inheritance.

Harold Bloom

Great writing is always rewriting or revisionism, and is founded on a reading that clears space for the self.

Harold Bloom

A political reading of Shakespeare is bound to be less interesting than a Shakespearean reading of politics[.]

Harold Bloom

Such a reader does not read for easy pleasure or to expiate social guilt, but to enlarge a solitary existence.

Harold Bloom