School of Resentment  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

School of Resentment is a term coined by Harold Bloom to collectively group together multicultural literary criticism, such as African American, marxist, and feminist criticism.

He outlines this term in his introduction to The Western Canon (1994), in which he claims that his purpose is distinguished from political motives and that he wants to have literature judged purely on aesthetic values. Bloom has no problem discussing the social and political issues in books, but he disapproves of how various ideologies have overtaken English departments and are only interested in their own political motives, not aesthetic or literary merit. In his work he defends the Canon from this collective group, which he believes want to break down the Canon so that they can insert inferior literary works that support their own political motives. The “School of Resentment” is usually defined as scholars who wish to enlarge the canon by adding more minority, political or female authors whether or not their writing is considered to be aesthetically worthy of being included. Bloom feels that such an opening threatens the nature of the canon and will lead to its eventual demise. Although his attacks on the School of Resentment often lead people to assume Bloom himself is racist or sexist, it should be noted that his own list of The Western Canon includes a large number of women writers, ethnic writers and writers from non-Western countries.

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