GET WOKE, GO EXTINCT: “Livelier Than You Are, Whoever You Are.” Thirty years, ago the Yale literary critic Harold Bloom presciently feared that the canon of Western works was endangered. In The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages, he foresaw the rise of what he called the School of Resentment, “a cult of gender and racial cheerleading” by “Feminists, Afrocentrists, Marxists, Foucault-inspired New Historicists [and] Deconstructors.” But while he was correct about the immediate future, he may have been too pessimistic about the long term.

Bloom, who died in 2019, believed that the battle was lost. Those of us who aspire to be “individual readers and writers” will still read the Canon, he concluded, while “the others, who are amenable to a politicized curriculum, can be abandoned to it.” Looking at the state of my alma mater, I can see why Bloom felt as he did. But is despair so warranted? Why should not the new Puritans eventually go the way of the old? We hear a lot these days about the (woke) moral arc of the universe. But Shakespeare is interesting, and scolds are not. For all we know, time is still on the Canon’s side.

Read the whole thing (and the Canon).