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This week assignment is asking us to decide who is right in the debate between Harold Bloom, the author of The Western Canon, and the Kent Lewis, the author of Word and World, who likes, has right, and, being a professor at the Capilano Universty, has professional obligation to keep professional critical thinking and skepticism in his mind.  The question in this assignment asks us to take a side of one of them is misleading. It offers us only two choices who is right: Harold Bloom or Kent Lewis.   Neither of them is right or wrong.  I will not take a side either of them but will express my own opinion. Kent Lewis has his arguments against canon. I do not agree with some of them. He asks “Who is left out?” “Women, Blacks, Natives, most minorities…”The book has physical limits. And I agree with the Harold Bloom that “expansion of the Canon” means “destruction of the Canon”. So author had a very difficult choice to make to decide who the best of the best. At the end of the book there 4 appendexis where listed hundreds of writers, who deserved to be studied. The list consists of writers from a different part of the globe such as Ancient Near East, Ancient India, Ancient Greeks, The United States, Russia, Scandinavia, Serbo-Croat, Hungarian, Yiddish, Latin America, Africa etc.Here are names of women writers included in his list: Madame de Lafayette, Jane Austen(he dedicates her a lot of attention in chapter 10 Canonical Memory in Early Wordworth and Jane Austen’s Persuasion), Dorothy Wordsworth, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, Fanny Burney,  Marguerite de Navarre, George Sand, Sappho Maria Edgeworth, Gaspara Stampa Elizabeth Gaskell, Christine de Pisan, Mary Shelley, Christina Rossetti, Emily and Charlotte Bronte George Eliot, Emily Dickinson, Louisa May Alcott. Historically women, blacks, and native were oppressed; and education and literacy were not accessible for them. If they had been treated as equals throughout history, there would be a great much more on this list.  This is not Bloom’s fault that historyI agree with Kent Lewis that book expresses a personal preference, opinion, no facts.As we discussed in the class writing is a very personal thing. Any writer will be biased in writing because of his/her gender, race, religion, occupation, nationality, status, etc., and Harold Bloom is not an exception. In his first sentence of the Western Canon, he says that this book “necessarily with certain nostalgia”, which gives us a sense of author’s personal feeling such as “pleasure, or slight sadness about things that happened in the past”. So he will try to keep something alive, what is already dead.  How was decided what makes author canonical? Harold Bloom writes “the answer, more often ….strangeness, a mode of originality that either cannot be assimilated or that so assimilates us that we cease to see it as strange”. Who were the responders to this question?Also the fact Harold Bloom is the only author of this book, there were not others co-writers involved, it strengthens the feeling that this book expresses his personal opinion, which is most likely will be biased then if the book would be collaborative work of co-authors with different backgrounds. For reference, I used an electronic version of The Western Canon, so pages numbers may not coincide with the printed copy.


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