Canon of the American Sublime

AVC: You placed Blood Meridian not only firmly in the Western canon, but in your own “canon of the American Sublime.” Have there been any books since that time that you’d consider to be part of that canon? 

HB: Well, we have four living writers in America who have, in one way or another, touched what I would call the sublime. They are McCarthy, of course, with Blood Meridian; Philip Roth, particularly with two extraordinary novels, the very savage Sabbath’s Theater and American Pastoral, which I mentioned before; Don DeLillo’s Underworld, which is a little long for what it does but nevertheless is the culmination of what Don can do; and, of course, the mysterious figure of Mr. Pynchon. I don’t know what I would choose if I had to select a single work of sublime fiction from the last century, it probably would not be something by Roth or McCarthy; it would probably be Mason & Dixon, if it were a full-scale book, or if it were a short novel it would probably be The Crying Of Lot 49. Pynchon has the same relation to fiction, I think, that my friend John Ashbery has to poetry: he is beyond compare. 

- interview with Harold Bloom, A.V. Club