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Bloom Leads Readers Through The Labyrinthine Paths Which Link The Writers And Critics Who Have Informed And Inspired Him For So Many Years


6 thoughts on “The Anatomy of Influence: Literature as a Way of Life

  1. says:

    Very good and easy read from one of the most famous critics Highly recommendable for students or anyone interested in literature Very entertaining.


  2. says:

    If you love Western literature, enjoy erudite discussions about it, don t fear a challenge and have a tendency to question life s meaning, then I recommend you read this As some of the above reviews have stated, this could be considered Harold Bloom s swan song Whether true or not, this work captures him at full hurtle, acute as he is explosive, hopeful as he is cynical.Challenge yourself to read Bloom, and he will challenge you to read, read and reread He will challenge you to read Shakespeare, Cervantes, Tolstoy, Homer, Goethe, Emerson, Freud, Dostoyevsky, Mann, and on and on He will make you realize that the great poets and authors of language are like empires or countries, with their own geographies, climates, histories, inhabitants and personalities He will challenge you to read deeply the only literature that ultimately matters, because it is the literature that deals with that which, hopefully, is indeed Ultimate.I discovered Bloom as an overconfident, 18 year old undergrad studying abroad I was immediately humbled like never before The first thing I realized when I began Genius was that I really hadn t read anything, and that the most appropriate starting points were 1 The English Dictionary and 2 The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.Bloom will disarm you and elicit every literary insecurity you ever had He will take you straight to Why it is you read literary criticism in the first place So, why do you Bloom will guide you and hopefully breathe a life into your relationship with literature that you never imagined possible, in a way that so few teachers are able to do in our time.As a possible pre reading, I d suggest How to Read And Why, Hamlet, Poem Unlimited, Jorge Luis Borges The Garden of Forking Paths and an NPR Interview from a number of years back concerning Jesus and Yaweh The Names Divine.Remember It will be a challenge, but worthwhile than you can imagine.


  3. says:

    In this volume, Bloom primarily explores the lines of influence among a set of American and British poets, with particular emphasis on Walt Whitman with respect to the Americans and since this is Bloom the overweening influence of the Immortal Bard Much of this is a re working of Bloom s prior analysis and claims, but it is a nice consolidation, plus some new thoughts interspersed I am not sure where Literature as a Way of Life comes in, except as a characterization of Bloom s deep commitment to his subject Bloom is learned and scholarly, but as far from dry as one could imagine.Some readers will be put off in places, not so much by disagreement with Bloom s arguments, as by the technical jargon of literary theory, plus his infatuation with certain terms or phrases that he invests with deep, if sometimes vague, meaning And, in a few thankfully few places, Bloom grumbles like an old man that the world in general and America in particular are going to hell in a handcart So, this may sound like I am panning the book, right Not so Despite my own occasional frustration with elements of Bloom s style, and lack of deep interest in his critical theory, I gladly recommend the book to serious readers.I do not read Bloom for his theory however valuable this may be , but because of his exceptionally close and rich reading of great writers As another reviewer has said, Bloom believes that literary criticismought to consist in acts of appreciation This volume like predecessors and his recent The Daemon Knows is a passionate appreciation of some extraordinary writers It includes extensive selections to illustrate his points, and is replete with the original interpretations and sharp insights that Bloom has consistently offered Reading Bloom is likely to enrich your appreciation and prompt further thinking about nearly every writer he addresses, as well as open new doors to some you have not adequately considered After reading Bloom, I typically find myself going directly to my bookshelf or bookstore to dig into a collection of poems or a novel that I may read anew or even for the first time with much enhanced understanding and pleasure.I recently read and reviewed Bloom s recent The Daemon Knows Literary Greatness and the American Sublime, where I offered somewhat similar criticism and comments On the whole, I prefer this later offering, and genuinely hated to finish it, which I couldn t quite bring myself to say about the present volume Perhaps I simply preferred the broader attention to novels, as well as poems, in The Daemon Knows Both have a lot to offer, if one can absorb a bit of Bloom s admirable literary passion and benefit from his nice insights, while ignoring the distraction of some jargon and dare I say occasional pedantry.


  4. says:

    Harold Bloom is a thoughtful writer Readers except, perhaps, those with a Ph.D in English Lit must be willing to work at comprehending his dense prose Also helpful, for understanding Bloom, to have some background in Shakespeare and exposure to the literature of other greats of the written word Bloom, of course, was substantially smug and proud of his erudition If you can get past that, he is well worth reading I, for one, happen to believe Bloom s message that Americans have closed their minds to learning and, in general, to any erudition based on the written word Sadly, we have segued into a world of fantasy and unreality served up by the current video culture Bloom s prophecies regarding the future of the printed word seem to be coming true With a vengeance.


  5. says:

    So what can I say You know what you are going to get and since I can t sit in his classroom, I read his books instead I marvel at his mind and the way he can memorize so many lines and and tie so many writers together To say he is stuck on Shakespeare is an understatement but so what I carefully read his introductions and conclusions because that is where the real insights exist I disagree with him very often but that s the part I like the best


  6. says:

    The Bloom style is omnipresent but the comparisons are reputively and often incompletely fleashed out If you plan to read this seriously be prepared to do a lot of research along the way.