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Kaethe

Kaethe

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How to Read and Why - Harold Bloom Bloom is a big believer in the idea of the canon as a dead-white male institution. Because a shared culture is valuable (I agree with him there) he seems to think that it must be the shared culture of dead white Northern Europeans in the US. I think most of us have had more than enough of that culture shoved down our throats, until we want to vomit, or at least, read about and empathize with a broader culture that resembles more of us. Overall I find his thinking circular: everyone should read Shakespeare so that everyone will recognize obscure Shakespeare quotes when they appear out of context in writing about something else by writers who were made to study Shakespeare. Me, I say read Shakespeare because the boy knew how to put on a show with lots of swashbuckling and blood and poor dying children. The great thing about him is that he used so many words for the first time, and used words so oddly, that he isn't any less comprehensible now than he was 500 years ago. Read Shakespeare, I say, to understand what it's like to be 13-year-old-girl who's father is marrying her off to some old guy.