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dumbfoundry

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Bemsha Swing [US]:
Over at a Spanish blog I frequent, the question of the superiority of American literature comes up. The feeling that Spain does not have novelists of the stature of Pynchon, poets like Ashbery, or critics like Bloom. The difference of perspectives always comes into play. I have had to admit to my friend Vicente Luis Mora that I don't particularly admire Bloom. I can see how he might be admirable from afar, of course. My single most significant complaint about Bloom is that he never says anything useful, or usable. That is, I can never pin him down to an insight that I can actually paraphrase and apply in some other context. It's the kind of mind I am not drawn to. I don't just mean because his "canon" differs from mine. I mean in the sense that he has never said anything about Ashbery that makes me understand Ashbery any better, or Stevens, or any other poet we both might admire. Maybe it's the refusal to read the text closely on his part, to say something significant about the text on the page. He seems to want to do the opposite: impose a theoretical metalanguage on the reader that will prevent reading from ever taking place: the terrain of critical discussion is taken to some abstract where Bloom's own issues are the focus. That's why Bloom is much worse that even Helen Vendler, who at least is a close reader. [...]
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