Monday, March 12, 2007

From the "Never Praise Your Country When at Home, Nor Criticize It When Abroad" department:

La Vanguardia has an interview with Harold Bloom today. Bloom is much more famous in Catalonia than in America, since he has written positively about Catalan literature.

Interviewer: In your book you say the United States is not a democracy.

Bloom: That's it. We are not a democracy, and it is ridiculous for us to affirm that we want to bring democracy to the world, because we have no democracy to export. The United States is equal parts a plutocracy, a theocracy, and an oligarchy; political families that govern generation after generation.

Int.: American Religion insists on the special relationship that the American people has with God.

Bloom: More than 90% of Americans believe in God, though what fascinates me is that each one of them is convinced that God loves him personally. They think God is on their side. Bush, who is responsible for the current disaster in iraq and this country's deficit, says that Jesus is his favorite philosopher. Can you believe that he got through Yale without reading a single book?

What an East Coast intellectual snob. Furriners who wonder why 90% of America despises these people and ignores everything they say now know why.

However, Bloom, toward the end of the interview, demonstrates that he knows as little about contemporary fiction as he does about the country that he is a citizen of, that took his ancestors in, and that he scorns so harshly.

Bloom: Baltasar Porcel is at the same level as Don DeLillo or Philip Roth.

Yeah, at the same level of muddle-headed politics, I'd agree. At the same level of literary talent? No, not really, no.

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