Yesterday, literary scholar, author and critic, Harold Bloom passed away. I must admit, I have never really taken a deep dive into any of Mr. Bloom's work, but yesterday I fell down a YouTube rabbit hole and feel compelled to share this interview with Harold from 1994. In it, Charlie Rose raises questions about the state of the study of literature in the US and Mr. Bloom answers very candidly. I highly recommend you give it a listen if and when you get 25 minutes today.
It's crazy to see how worried Bloom was about the state of literary study, discourse and critical thinking in 1994. And as I switch tabs to my TweetDeck and observe the current state of discourse, it is hard not to think of how prescient this man was. The talk of "creeping resentment" into scholarly discussions and debates has crescendoed into the insanity that persists on some college campuses today. Places that are supposed to be designated for debate and intellectual rigor and have been debased to such a level that some do not express particular ideas due to fear of physical harm.
Aesthetics in literature and art seem to be at an all time low as the masses become consumed by porn fiction like 50 Shades of Gray and a cycle of different iterations of the same superhero movies. This erosion of standards has led us (myself very much included, I've watched most of the Marvel films) to neglect classic literature that has helped people learn about themselves and how to think critically for millennia. And this, in turn, has led to a dearth of modern day literature and art that may stand the test of time. Do you freaks really think our great grand children are still going to be consumed by Christian Gray's sex swings?
This letter probably comes off just a tad pretentious, but, again, I woke up this morning and felt compelled to share this perspective.
On a lighter note, this is pretty dope.
Life is weird. Like really weird when you think about it.