The Canon

It would do me a lot of good to understand more clearly what it is about certain kinds of Authority that I have found so compelling for so long. It has really been a terrible constraint on my life. I am thinking particularly about literary & intellectual authority. Why Kant, Hegel, Heidegger, Nietzsche? Why did they (and Others) seem to me to harbor Truths that I had to understand in order to live my life? Was it the seriousness? The "profundity"? The difficulty? Perhaps partly it stems from a desire to have someone tell you the best way to live your life rather than having to figure it out on your own and probably get it ALL WRONG.

These and related questions are directly relevant to any discussion of the authority of a sacred text - its orthodox reading versus the "heretical," mystical and creative readings that stand so often in opposition to the institutionally approved readings. Much of my attraction to Henry Corbin stems from his understanding of these dynamics. In any case thinking about Corbin brings all these various threads together. 

And in this context its hard to ignore Harold Bloom, who is a big fan of Corbin, and whose books I have long disliked precisely because of and in spite of their arrogant AUTHORITY.

Here are a couple of nice commentaries noted today on Ron Silliman's ever-useful blog:


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