The Corner

Harold Bloom’s Books

During the Dark Ages, Roman Catholic monks kept civilization alive by gathering and copying books within their monastery fastnesses, until such time as literacy and learning could re-emerge. One thinks of them, perhaps, when reading this story, which reports the news that the eminent literary critic Harold Bloom, who is not a Christian, has chosen to donate his library not to Yale, where he teaches, but to a small Catholic college in Vermont. Writes Dinitia Smith in the Times:

Harold Bloom has always railed against what he calls “the school of resentment,” Marxist, feminist, Afrocentric and deconstructionist scholars who, he says, deny the aesthetic and spiritual values inherent in great literature. So when it came time for Mr. Bloom, 72, to choose a place to donate his immense personal library and his archives, he bypassed several larger prominent universities that in his opinion house those very practitioners of resentment in favor of a small, relatively unknown Catholic college in Colchester, Vt.

“Dear child,” Mr. Bloom said in a telephone interview, using the appellation he applies to friend, stranger, male and female, alike, “with rare exceptions the universities and colleges in the English-speaking world that have sustained some sense of literature as a matter of powerful cognition and extraordinary aesthetic beauty tend to be the Roman Catholic institutions.”

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