Harold Bloom and Stephen King
Harold Bloom. Is he really a pompous windbag? Well, he is pompous and egotistical, that much is undisputed. He has, over the years, shown a particular disdain and viciousness toward Stephen King. He has shown a similar attitude toward J.K. Rowling, which begs the question: Does he castigate them for their works or their success?
Here's an example of his particular viewpoint on King, specifically, his reaction to King's Medal from the NBF (originally appearing in the New York Times):
"That they could believe that there is any literary value there or any aesthetic accomplishment or signs of an inventive human intelligence is simply a testimony to their own idiocy."
Well, now, isn't that just cheeky?
Here also is a page of collective quotes from other literary figures, all of them a little more supportive of King.
King Sized Up
So, nobody really agrees on anything. However, not having reached a conclusion myself, and thinking that both King's diehard fans and Harold Bloom are the vocal extremes, I think I need to get more in touch with both sides of the issue.
Since I have already read nearly all of King's works, a mostly enjoyable experience, I want to contrast that with the Harold Bloom vision of literature. I have purchased and begun reading "How to Read and Why" by Mr. Bloom and will compare his criteria and examples with the writing I've experience by Mr. King. Perhaps then I'll be able to decide who's blowing smoke and who's got the inside track on the truth.
Of course, we all know that I'll still feel as conflicted about it as I do now, but I can dream, can't I?