A writer-editor-teacher’s quote of the week #89

A literary work also arouses expectations that it needs to fulfill or it will cease to be read. The deepest anxieties of literature are literary; indeed, in my view, they define the literary and become all but identical with it. A poem, a novel, or a play acquires all of humanity’s disorders, including the fear or mortality, which in the art of literature is transmitted into the quest to be canonical, to join the communal or societal memory.

from “An Elegy for the Canon,” the opening chapter of Harold Bloom’s The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages

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