I teach on Thursday nights, and I always end up watching late night TV after class because I can never get to sleep early. Tonight (really, last night now) I ended up channel-surfing between a couple of different things, including Charlie Rose, and the guest for the second half of his show was Harold Bloom. “Who is Harold Bloom,” you ask? Clearly, you are not an English geek. In the nutshell, Bloom is a big name (one of the biggest names in the U.S. right now) literary critic. He was on Charlie Rose talking about a wide range of issues, mostly having to do with a new book he has coming out.
In many ways, Bloom represents the kind of literary critic that irritates me to no end– on paper. But I have to say that on the Rose show, Bloom was a charming (albeit scruffy) commentator. It helped that he spoke frequently of the evil that was George W. Bush (and it was pretty amusing to watch Charlie Rose trying to skate around that one), but I just liked what Bloom had to say on a wide range of literary figures.
Who is the most important writer in American letters, according to Bloom? Whitman. I kinda-sorta agree with that one, actually.