Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Harold Bloom on spectacle vs. text

Wow, no sooner did I diss the overabundance of spectacle and the dearth of good text in country music, than I read this editorial in the New York Times by Harold Bloom, who writes,

"More than ever in this time of economic troubles and societal change, entering upon an undergraduate education should be a voyage away from visual overstimulation into deep, sustained reading of what is most worth absorbing and understanding: the books that survive all ideological fashions."

I'm not totally against ideological fashions, but I know what he means. He lists Some Great Books: "Homer, Plato, the Bible, Virgil, Dante, Chaucer, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Montaigne, Milton." What I am against is visual overstimulation, via those glowing rectangles that seem to be everywhere. Real pictures, not so much. Over-indulge all you want in black and white silver gelatin photographs in particular.

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