Letter: Bovine Bard

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Harold Bloom's arrogance seems limitless. Referring to the reception of a talk he gave at Oxford University last week he is quoted as saying, "I watched the faces of my audience as I delivered this and saw blank incomprehension. I had a vision of an airplane flying over cows in a meadow." (Books Interview, 6 March)

My bewilderment at Mr Bloom's argument was, it would appear, a product of my sheer ignorance. Of course, the fact that Mr Bloom delivered his speech, or rather simply read from his recent book, in a monotonous and uninspiring drone could have played no part.

If Falstaff really is "the mortal god of my imaginings", Mr Bloom should return to Shakespeare's text and try to learn a thing or two from his hero's rhetorical performance. Meanwhile, I think it would be preferable for me and my fellow bovine students to keep to the grass-roots of Shakespeare rather than indulge in an arrogant flight of fantasy.

BEN SANDERSON

St Catherine's College

Oxford

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