William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet by Harold Bloom
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Harold Bloom. Since the publication of his first book in , Bloom has written more than 20 books of literary criticism, several books discussing religion, and one novel. He has edited hundreds of anthologies. Other books in the series. Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations 1 - 10 of books. Books by Harold Bloom. Trivia About William Shakespea No trivia or quizzes yet.
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Bloom's fascination with the fantasy novel A Voyage to Arcturus by David Lindsay led him to take a brief break from criticism in order to compose a sequel to Lindsay's novel. This novel, The Flight to Lucifer , remains Bloom's only work of fiction. Bloom then entered a phase of what he called "religious criticism", beginning in with Ruin the Sacred Truths: Poetry and Belief from the Bible to the Present.
In The Book of J , he and David Rosenberg who translated the Biblical texts portrayed one of the posited ancient documents that formed the basis of the first five books of the Bible see documentary hypothesis as the work of a great literary artist who had no intention of composing a dogmatically religious work see Jahwist. They further envisaged this anonymous writer as a woman attached to the court of the successors of the Israelite kings David and Solomon —a piece of speculation which drew much attention. Later, Bloom said that the speculations didn't go far enough, and perhaps he should have identified J with the Biblical Bathsheba.
In The American Religion , Bloom surveyed the major varieties of Protestant and post-Protestant religious faiths that originated in the United States and argued that, in terms of their psychological hold on their adherents, most shared more in common with gnosticism than with historical Christianity.
The exception was the Jehovah's Witnesses , whom Bloom regards as non-Gnostic. He elsewhere predicted that the Mormon and Pentecostal strains of American Christianity would overtake mainstream Protestant divisions in popularity in the next few decades. In Omens of Millennium , Bloom identifies these American religious elements as on the periphery of an old — and not inherently Christian — gnostic, religious tradition which invokes a complex of ideas and experiences concerning angelology , interpretation of dreams as prophecy , near-death experiences , and millennialism.
In his essay in The Gospel of Thomas , Bloom states that none of Thomas' Aramaic sayings have survived to this day in the original language. In , Bloom published The Western Canon , a survey of the major literary works of Europe and the Americas since the 14th century, focusing on 26 works he considered sublime and representative of their nations  and of the Western canon. Bloom believes that the goals of reading must be solitary aesthetic pleasure and self-insight rather than the goal held by "forces of resentment" of improving one's society, which he casts as an absurd aim, writing: "The idea that you benefit the insulted and injured by reading someone of their own origins rather than reading Shakespeare is one of the oddest illusions ever promoted by or in our schools.
In addition to considering how much influence a writer has had on later writers, Bloom proposed the concept of "canonical strangeness" cf. The Western Canon also included a list—which aroused more widespread interest than anything else in the volume—of all the Western works from antiquity to the present that Bloom considered either permanent members of the canon of literary classics, or among more recent works candidates for that status.
Bloom has said that he made the list off the top of his head at his editor's request, and that he does not stand by it. Bloom has a deep appreciation for Shakespeare  and considers him to be the supreme center of the Western canon. The second edition, published in , adds a long preface that mostly expounds on Shakespeare's debt to Ovid and Chaucer , and his agon with his contemporary Christopher Marlowe , who set the stage for him by breaking free of ecclesiastical and moralizing overtones.
In his survey, Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human , Bloom provides an analysis of each of Shakespeare's 38 plays, "twenty-four of which are masterpieces. The two paragons of his theory are Sir John Falstaff of Henry IV and Hamlet , whom Bloom sees as representing self-satisfaction and self-loathing, respectively.
Throughout Shakespeare , characters from disparate plays are imagined alongside and interacting with each other; this has been decried by numerous contemporary academics and critics as hearkening back to the out of fashion character criticism of A. Bradley and others, who happen to gather explicit praise in the book. As in The Western Canon , Bloom criticizes what he calls the "School of Resentment" for its failure to live up to the challenge of Shakespeare's universality and instead balkanizing the study of literature through various multicultural and historicist departments.
Asserting Shakespeare's singular popularity throughout the world, Bloom proclaims him as the only multicultural author, and rather than the "social energies" historicists ascribe Shakespeare's authorship to, Bloom pronounces his modern academic foes — and indeed, all of society — to be "a parody of Shakespearian energies. In the same year, Hamlet: Poem Unlimited was published, an amendment to Shakespeare: Invention of the Human written after he decided the chapter on Hamlet in that earlier book had been too focused on the textual question of the Ur-Hamlet to cover his most central thoughts on the play itself.
Some elements of religious criticism were combined with his secular criticism in Where Shall Wisdom Be Found , and a more complete return to religious criticism was marked by the publication of Jesus and Yahweh: The Names Divine in Throughout the decade he also compiled, edited and introduced several major anthologies of poetry. Bloom began a book under the working title of Living Labyrinth , centering on Shakespeare and Whitman, which was published in as The Anatomy of Influence: Literature as a Way of Life.
William Shakespeare's Hamlet (Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations)
In , Bloom credited Northrop Frye as his nearest precursor. He told Imre Salusinszky in "In terms of my own theorizations I purchased and read Fearful Symmetry a week or two after it had come out and reached the bookstore in Ithaca, New York. It ravished my heart away. I have tried to find an alternative father in Mr. Kenneth Burke , who is a charming fellow and a very powerful critic, but I don't come from Burke, I come out of Frye.
However, in his Anatomy of Influence , he wrote "I no longer have the patience to read anything by Frye" and nominated Angus Fletcher among his living contemporaries as his "critical guide and conscience" and elsewhere that year recommended Fletcher's Colors of the Mind and The Mirror and the Lamp by M. Bradley , and Samuel Johnson , describing Johnson in The Western Canon as "unmatched by any critic in any nation before or after him".
Abrams had upon him in his years at Cornell University. Bloom's theory of poetic influence regards the development of Western literature as a process of borrowing and misreading. Writers find their creative inspiration in previous writers and begin by imitating those writers in order to develop a poetic voice of their own; however, they must make their own work different from that of their precursors.
William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet
As a result, Bloom argues, authors of real power must inevitably "misread" their precursors' works in order to make room for fresh imaginings. Observers often identified Bloom with deconstruction in the past, but he himself never admitted to sharing more than a few ideas with the deconstructionists. He told Robert Moynihan in , "What I think I have in common with the school of deconstruction is the mode of negative thinking or negative awareness, in the technical, philosophical sense of the negative, but which comes to me through negative theology There is no escape, there is simply the given, and there is nothing that we can do.
Bloom's association with the Western canon has provoked a substantial interest in his opinion concerning the relative importance of contemporary writers. In the late s, Bloom told an interviewer: "Probably the most powerful living Western writer is Samuel Beckett. He's certainly the most authentic. After Beckett's death in , Bloom has pointed towards other authors as the new main figures of the Western literary canon. Concerning British writers: " Geoffrey Hill is the strongest British poet now active", and "no other contemporary British novelist seems to me to be of Iris Murdoch 's eminence".
Of American novelists, he declared in that "there are four living American novelists I know of who are still at work and who deserve our praise". He has added to this estimate the work of John Crowley , with special interest in his Aegypt Sequence and novel Little, Big saying that "only a handful of living writers in English can equal him as a stylist, and most of them are poets By the s, he regularly named A. Ammons along with Ashbery and Merrill, and he has lately come to identify Henri Cole as the crucial American poet of the generation following those three.
He has expressed great admiration for the Canadian poets Anne Carson , particularly her verse novel Autobiography of Red, and A. Moritz , whom Bloom calls "a true poet. Bloom's introduction to Modern Critical Interpretations: Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow features his canon of the "twentieth-century American Sublime", the greatest works of American art produced in the 20th century. Playwright Tony Kushner sees Bloom as an important influence on his work. For many years, Bloom's writings have drawn polarized responses, even among established literary scholars.
Bloom has been called "probably the most celebrated literary critic in the United States"  and "America's best-known man of letters". James Wood has described Bloom as "Vatic, repetitious, imprecisely reverential, though never without a peculiar charm of his own—a kind of campiness, in fact—Bloom as a literary critic in the last few years has been largely unimportant.
The wind blows and they will go away There's nothing to the man I don't want to talk about him". In the early 21st century, Bloom has often found himself at the center of literary controversy after criticizing popular writers such as Adrienne Rich ,  Maya Angelou ,  and David Foster Wallace.
In author Naomi Wolf wrote an article for New York Magazine accusing Harold Bloom of a sexual "encroachment" more than two decades earlier, by touching her thigh. She said that what she alleged Bloom did was not harassment, either legally or emotionally, and she did not think herself a "victim", but that she had harbored this secret for 21 years. Explaining why she had finally gone public with the charges, Wolf wrote, "I began, nearly a year ago, to try—privately—to start a conversation with my alma mater that would reassure me that steps had been taken in the ensuing years to ensure that unwanted sexual advances of this sort weren't still occurring.
I expected Yale to be responsive. After nine months and many calls and e-mails, I was shocked to conclude that the atmosphere of collusion that had helped to keep me quiet twenty years ago was still intact—as secretive as a Masonic lodge. I call her Dracula's daughter, because her father was a Dracula scholar. I have never in my life been indoors with Dracula's daughter. When she came to the door of my house unbidden, my youngest son turned her away. Once, I was walking up to campus, and she fell in with me and said, 'May I walk with you, Professor Bloom?
Monson , known to his followers as 'prophet, seer and revelator,' is indistinguishable from the secular plutocratic oligarchs who exercise power in our supposed democracy". From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
For the screenwriter, see Harold Jack Bloom. Harold Bloom should not be confused with American philosopher Allan Bloom. Shelley's Mythmaking. New Haven: Yale University Press, Garden City, N. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, The Literary Criticism of John Ruskin.
New York: DoubleDay, Walter Pater: Marius the Epicurean ; edition with introduction. New York: New American Library, Romanticism and Consciousness: Essays in Criticism. New York: Norton, New York: Oxford University Press, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, New York: Oxford University Press, ; 2d ed.
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A Map of Misreading. Kabbalah and Criticism. Figures of Capable Imagination. New York: Seabury Press, Wallace Stevens: The Poems of our Climate. Ithaca, N. Deconstruction and Criticism. The Flight to Lucifer: Gnostic Fantasy. New York: Vintage Books, The Breaking of the Vessels. New Haven: Henry R. Schwab, Cambridge, Mass. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, New York: Harcourt Brace, New York: Riverhead Books, Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human.
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New York: Yale University Press, Scribner, I, Text. Fishman ] " Yahweh Meets R. Asks Harold Bloom" , Newsweek , February 11, Covering cherub List of thinkers influenced by deconstruction School of resentment. Retrieved March 27, Retrieved June 25, The New York Times. In Peter C. Herman ed. Historicizing Theory. Suny Press. Retrieved February 23, London: Europa Publications.
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