Harold Bloom, How To Read and Why, Scribners, 2000.
“Because my ideal reader, for half a century has been Dr. Samuel Johnson, I turn next to my favorite passage in his Preface to Shakespeare: This, therefore, is the praise of Shakespeare, that his drama is the mirror of life; that he who has mazed into his imagination in following the phantoms which other writers raise up before him may here be cured of his delirious ecstasies by reading human sentiments in human language, by scenes from which a hermit may estimate the transactions of the world and a confessor predict the progress of the passions….Let me extend Johnson by also urging us to recognize the phantoms that the deep reading of Shakespeare will exorcise. One such phantom is the death of the Author; another is the assertion that the self is a fiction; yet another is the opinion that literary and dramatic characters are so many marks upon a page. A fourth phantom, and the most pernicious, is that language does the thinking for us…..I urge you to find what truly comes near to you, that can be used for weighing and considering. Read deeply, not to believe, not to accept, not to contradict, but to learn to share in that one nature that writes and reads.”
OBSERVATION: Certain individuals help us understand the process of profound understanding, they help us see with the mind, perceiving realms beyond the commonplace, unmasking the mysteries hiding behind various surfaces.