How to Read and Why - Preface and Prologue Summary & Analysis

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Preface: Bloom says that reading is the most healing of pleasures, because it returns you to otherness. He says that "Imaginative literature is otherness, and as such alleviates loneliness." (p. 19). Bloom says that while literature is an "imperfect discipline" and "there is no method but yourself" (p. 19), he will talk about works that are experiential and pragmatic. He says that his masters—his critical predecessors, Dr. Samuel Johnson and William Hazlitt—sought to make explicit what was implicit in books, and he resolves not to separate the how and the why of his title. He says that Virginia Woolf famously said that "the only advice, indeed, that one person can give another about reading is to take no advice." (p. 20). Nevertheless, Bloom offers us his thoughts, with the pledge that there will be no polemics, and he will only...

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This section contains 636 words
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