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View Diary: R.I.P. Tom Disch (120 comments)

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  •  I was able to like On Wings of Song because (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric S

    I am gay, and black, and was a boy soprano.
    But I am shocked that anyone as conservative as Harold Bloom would think that there was anything "canonically western" about that book.   It was almost calculated to outrage as many  conservative sensibilities as possible.  White people dyeing their skin black to be more beautiful?  Homosexuality?   Castration?   Out-of-body experiences?  A ridiculously oppressive RIGHT-wing government (in Iowa, as compared to more liberal Minnesota)?
    Was Bloom trying to blunt criticism of HIS take on the canon as typically bigoted?
    Belatedly I see him putting it into a "4th(Chaotic)" stage, about which he says:

    "I am not as confident about this list as the other three. Cultural prophecy is always a mug's game. Not all of the works here can prove to be canonical; literary overpopulation is a hazard to many among them. But I have neither excluded nor included on the basis of cultural politics of any sort. What I have omitted seem to me fated to become period pieces: even their 'multiculturist' supporters will turn against them in another two generations or so, in order to clear space for better writings."

    It basically made his "affirmative action" list; almost like he had to include these in case later generations might the white ethnocentrism of his previous list as grounds for discarding him altogether; it was like he was trying to prove he had a little appreciation for some token "best efforts" from the "other" side.

    "You can't nice these people to death."-- John Edwards

    by ge0rge on Mon Jul 07, 2008 at 12:59:33 PM PDT

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