Page 24 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 42

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o f m ind , tu rn e d away from the sympathies tha t allow a good critic
to open a book and read it well. Filter a book th ro u g h som eone
else’s m e thod and you will no t be read ing it at all — D e rrida will,
o r DeMan will, o r Frye will, bu t you will not. H a ro ld Bloom, in
o th e r respec ts a c o n s t ru c te r o f unu su a l ly e lab o ra te critical
systems, is as clear-sighted as any exposito r I know in this respect,
and I close by citing his caution:
“There is no method other than your­
All those who seek fo r a m e thod th a t is no t themselves will
find no t a m ethod , bu t someone else, whom they will ape and in­
voluntarily mock.”
Whatever American Jewish writing is o r may become, it d e ­
serves reade rs who will no t trans la te it too quickly o r too fash ion ­
ably into the latest French forms. Jewish does no t equa te with
slavish; n o r does American; no r should writing.