Features November 2007
Another view: America’s flaw or Bloom’s?
On a number of the potential flaws in Bloom’s “The Closing of the American Mind.”
The university of 1987, when Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind appeared, looks like a cloister of humane learning compared with the grotesque carnival of today’s academy. The course catalogues of major universities and publishing lists of major university presses furnish evidence aplenty. But for the moment one small example may suffice: a book I picked up by chance this August from a reshelving trolley in the University of California, Irvine’s library. It was Glamour Girls: Femme/Femme Erotica, a collection of lesbian smut put out by a fly-by-night press. A single page—the conclusion of a story by “Ana Slutsky Peril”—was as much as I could take, and it is not printable in this magazine. Suffice it to say that sado-masochistic sexual practices usually associated with the shadier reaches of the West Village turn the narrator into what she calls a “blind, dumb f**k doll.” The...
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