He ranges across years, from the 5th century BC through to the year , and touches on all the principal cultures both east and west The book is divided into three sections: youth, the middle years and the later years. This is because Bloom is concerned to show how the wisest of men and women throughout the ages can help us cope with the problems that beset us on our paths through life.
Here are the patterns, dilemmas, fulfilments and renunciations we must all experience - how have characters from Achilles, through Hamlet on to Tolstoy's Natasha dealt with mourning, and what are the most psychologically useful reflections that major writers have made upon it? What can Dante teach us about our own love affairs? Subject Genius. Gifted persons. Bibliographic information.
Browse related items Start at call number: BF B56 Librarian view Catkey: I sort of love Bloom, which is just to say that I'd like to think my irritations with him are different from other people's. But while this book succeeds at its practical purpose of naming over a hundred people that Harold Bloom thinks are geniuses, a few of which you almost definitely Harold! But while this book succeeds at its practical purpose of naming over a hundred people that Harold Bloom thinks are geniuses, a few of which you almost definitely won't have heard of, so far it's failing me in its stated purpose of defining the particular genius of really any of them.
Genius made me think about how many books I have to read again and how many new books and authors I have to read for the first time. In an era where books are produced by the thousands Genius is a reference that helps to refocus on the essential on literature Dec 28, Francisco De Aldana rated it it was ok.
Anglo-centric cultural narcissism unleashed. Blooms idolatry of Shakespeare the most over-hyped literary figure of all times, the result of Brish and American imperialism is acritical; Shakespeare is not Cervantess equal, mush less -as Bloom is obsessed to "prove"- his "superior". Nov 17, RosaLei rated it it was amazing. It impressed me that Harold Bloom brought me up close and personal with great minds that I admire and also introduced me to many whom I heard of and some I never knew as well.
I love the way he organized the book throughout the diversity and time periods of the talent by using his relation to Kabbalah; a very interesting method. I frequently reference the book for inspiration and motivation with my own creative endeavors and am grateful that he took the time and effort to complete such a great w It impressed me that Harold Bloom brought me up close and personal with great minds that I admire and also introduced me to many whom I heard of and some I never knew as well.
I frequently reference the book for inspiration and motivation with my own creative endeavors and am grateful that he took the time and effort to complete such a great work!
Jun 10, Steven Belanger rated it it was amazing. Absolutely enlightening and entertaining volume about of the greatest writers of the world, from one of the most, well, ingenious writers of the world. So good you want to start reading it again just after you've stopped. This book is second only to Bloom's Shakespeare: Invention of the Human, which I loved even more and which I've also read and re-read.
This one centers around the thesis of the aftereffects of genius upon the ingenious, and it's structured around a more-confusing-than-it-nee Absolutely enlightening and entertaining volume about of the greatest writers of the world, from one of the most, well, ingenious writers of the world. This one centers around the thesis of the aftereffects of genius upon the ingenious, and it's structured around a more-confusing-than-it-needs-to-be premise that Bloom has to explain to you, because though I get it, I can't explain it here, and I'm not sure it matters anyway.
He just didn't want to list names and go at it, so he broke it down, loosely, upon the different types of genius each genius had. Fair enough, but then he goes all ancient Greek and Roman and almost Kabbalistic on you, which some of this book's geniuses--Austen, Chekhov and Cervantes, just to name a few--wouldn't have cared about at all.
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Separating them by their types of genius, yes. The extra stuff, whatever. All of this is moot because the insights and writing are really awe-inspiring. Bloom is like Stephen Hawking in that they make even those who think they're decently intelligent feel even more so for having read their works. One wonders what Bloom would make of this kakistocracy. His pitch against Dubya's conservative, religious right was high, damning and almost intellectually hysterical, so his stance against today's "system of government which is run by the worst, least qualified, or most unscrupulous citizens" would be close to suicidal.
When Dubya seems like one of this book's geniuses by comparison, it's time to run for the hills. Or, the border. This might seem like we've gotten off track, but Bloom places these geniuses pretty well into the societies of their times. It seems pretty clear that the genius and his society go hand-in-hand, one either causing the other, or at least bosom, if not friendly, buddies with the other.
Bloom also focuses on one work of the author, but cleverly self-advertises when he says that he's written of Author X's novel Y elsewhere, so let's focus on Z here. You'll know Bloom's other bestselling titles before you're done with this one.
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- Genius: A Mosaic Of One Hundred Exemplary Creative Minds.
Of course it's right that he does this, or you'd read about Hamlet and Falstaff every single time you're reading Bloom on Shakespeare. This also works because he lets you know about some of these geniuses's lesser known works. If you're like me, you'll want to read most of the writing of most of these geniuses as you're reading this. Of the covered here, I think I gave a pass to maybe 5 to 8 of them. Not bad. And I really did want to sit down and read a lot of their stuff. So this book is indispensable if you want to be an intelligent, read person.
Read this, and his Invention of the Human, and when you're done reading both of them, you'll want to go back and do so again. Another sign of Bloom's genius and one yardstick he uses to gauge genius in others : Each time you read him, you'll get something else you hadn't noticed before. Not because you're an idiot, but because there was so much there to begin with, you couldn't possibly have gotten it all the first time through. Jul 19, William Schram rated it really liked it Shelves: essays , non-fiction , poetry , literature , biography , criticism. Harold Bloom takes creative minds worthy of being called 'Genius' in his estimation and explains why he chose each person.
Since the man is a literary critic he doesn't go into music or art criticism. Thus, you will not find Mozart or Delacroix being reviewed in these pages. Professor Bloom starts out by describing his strange way of organizing the authors. Bloom goes by the Kabbalah and organizes them by the Sefirot. So there are ten different Sefirot and each Sefirot contains ten authors.
S Harold Bloom takes creative minds worthy of being called 'Genius' in his estimation and explains why he chose each person. Some of them I had not heard much of before. Others he chooses for reasons I did not expect. For instance, take Victor Hugo, the great Poetic genius of France. I seriously had not heard that he was a poet, and had only heard of him from Les Miserables sic and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
In any case, I suppose I really need to step up my reading game, but I am glad that I heard of the Lion's Share of these authors. Not that it matters much. Aug 22, John rated it really liked it. This is a large trade paperback that I have had for a number of years and periodically pull it off the shelf to read an essay from it. Thematically, the genius standpoint applies, but these authors also represent Bloom's favorites in a half century of literary study and criticism.
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- Genius : a mosaic of one hundred exemplary creative minds / Harold Bloom - Details - Trove!
You will get what Bloom mostly writes about: what writers matter and why they matter. It's a book to visit if This is a large trade paperback that I have had for a number of years and periodically pull it off the shelf to read an essay from it. It's a book to visit if you're about to start reading a particular writer. Dec 06, SSShafiq rated it liked it Shelves: non-fiction-misc.
The conceit or explaining genius using the terms from the Kabbalah was difficult for me based on my background even though I enjoyed reading the book from a writing perspectives Based on this I gave the book a 3 star but acknowledge that could be higher based on some pre-reading. I am not sure I followed the whole logic of tiers of genius but I did enjoy reading the book.
Jul 30, Shira rated it it was ok Shelves: writing. While I am very glad that he introduced me to the category of Essayists, I found him to be both pedantic and condescending. In short, nearly unbearable. Yet I did find his organisation of the work by Kabbalistic sephirot to be intriguing. Jan 19, Suz Davidson rated it really liked it.
There are a considerable number of profiles of people that are not commonly known, making this a more interesting read than the usual biography category. Jan 31, Harperac rated it really liked it Shelves: criticism , america. This book was compulsively readable for me, but I found each of the entries as frustrating as they were delightful.
The sections on people he's written about before just seem like smaller blurbs for larger essays or books he's written elsewhere, and many of the sections on people he's never written on before seemed very tentative and incomplete. For instance, I was looking forward to the section on Murasaki Shikibu, and he basically just rumbles around a bit and then quotes another critic an This book was compulsively readable for me, but I found each of the entries as frustrating as they were delightful.
For instance, I was looking forward to the section on Murasaki Shikibu, and he basically just rumbles around a bit and then quotes another critic and just says "what she said sounds about right to me" I'm not quoting him direct. So why did I find the book so readable? Well, there are a lot of writers here that I hadn't heard the Bloomian take on yet, and I was sometimes delightfully swept off my feet by an identification of something I hadn't noticed, a reframing of the work in terms that revitalize it.
That's what I always like about Bloom. But the question I'm asking myself now is, once one knows the ideas he's putting forth, does the writing still stand up as literature? I ask because Bloom has always said that criticism must also be literature. If so, then it must be more delightful than simply the content of its ideas. On that count, this book is a disappointment. After reading Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media, whose first section is sheer prose poetry, and Iris Murdoch's philosophical essays, written with logical force but a light touch as well, I was really wide open to a really engaging prose style.
Well, Bloom's not got it, unless I've just become so accustomed to it that it bores me. This prose problem ties into a thinking problem he's got in common with many Victorian writers, like Ruskin and Arnold - he just can't stay on topic. There are many instances where he starts a section saying "I will now talk about x," and never really gets to it, and many instances of saying "I will not speak of x this time," yet mentioning it in every paragraph.
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That is to say that the editing felt somewhat minimal. Now that I've written that, I've had an "Aha! It doesn't feel like the work of a fully engaged person, it feels like Bloom's advertisement for his better books. As a last note, I think I'm seeing who Bloom's real anxiety of influence is for. First, most powerfully, the Canadian critic Northrop Frye, who he quotes at least three times in the book.
In his chapter on Baudelaire, he shows Baudelaire's love-hate relationship with Hugo as a sign of his anxiety of influence. Well, Bloom has exhibited the same praise and denigration with Frye. The fact that he didn't include Frye in the book, in spite of the immense impact Frye had on his own thinking, is one sign of that agon. The second agon he's going through seems to me T. His article on Eliot is hilariously all over the place. He just can't think straight about the guy. Again, wildly denigrating, and then praising, albeit grudgingly.
I also detected, more faintly, some defensiveness around the impact Freud had on his thinking. However, he outright defends Freud at a time when most seem to hate the guy, and praises him as one of the four greats of our own era, alongside Kafka, Joyce, and Proust. Mar 25, Gregg Bell rated it really liked it. Her kingdom lies He too has this yearning in his soul to stand on the high towers, where in the wind and in the dusky loneliness it is uneasily beautiful, where one talks to God and where one can fall headlong to one's death.
But he is not proof against giddiness; he goes in dread of himself, in dread "Around the creative artist is life, exacting, scornful, confusing But he is not proof against giddiness; he goes in dread of himself, in dread of fortune, in dread of life, mysterious life in its entirety. Would you maybe like to? The above quote was referencing the playwright Henrik Ibsen.
The book, as the subtitle states, is about one hundred artists of all time periods, disciplines and kind.
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There are the expected entries Shakespeare and the unknown Luis Vaz de Camoes and if you happen to know Camoes I am impressed. The variety is part of the book's appeal. No cliched assortment is this. And while the book is indeed full of the demonstration of varied genius, I think having so many entries is part of the book's downfall too. In a way the book is an encyclopedia of genius. And really, we do have encyclopedias for this sort of thing.
The book is weighty.
thisislamu.com/map60.php The research exhaustive. And Bloom a very read-able writer. And yet as a study of genius I think it falls short. Such a lofty title makes it a target for anything less than, well, genius. But this book will enrich you. How could it not? So many creative people profiled. You will undoubtedly find some of your favorites, but perhaps you will learn even more from the geniuses you didn't know. Or perhaps you will learn from those you thought you knew.
Catch this from his musings on the nature of God. For as Emerson muses on genius below , genius demands it all.
He is proud to stand apart from contemporary critics, especially from the academics, whom he repeatedly scorns. Indeed he scorns most that goes on "nowadays" - this being the epoch of "feminist Puritanism". Unlike his chilly new-historical contemporaries, he doesn't mind saying he lusts after Emma. One writer about whom he is particularly petulant is "the abominable Eliot", whom he drags into contemptuous question on the slightest opportunity. Bloom cannot help thinking in terms of competition - no doubt his Oedipal obsession is a version of this habit, though it sometimes seems more appropriate to sport.
He cares indefatigably about who is greater than whom, who can be called "the greatest" and why another poet does not make it on to his all-time team. He admires and often quotes Emerson and Montaigne, and, like the latter, hates "that accidental repentance that old age brings.
I shall never be grateful to impotence for any good it may do me. Miserable sort of remedy, to owe our health to disease! It is worth noting that Bloom is far more involved in his criticism, as a conspicuous personality, than anybody else I can think of. Many of the essays have something to say, but some are little more than confident, self-regarding chatter. A tendency to bombast coexists with a kind of benign naughtiness. Who else would have thought of that? Here, too, is a certain grandiose flippancy, also to be detected in the Bathsheba theory and in Bloom's wish to gather all these disparate geniuses under newly-designed shelters of his own invention.
Even Dante has his own "gnosis". Dickens, astoundingly, is described as "kabbalistically over-determined". A memorable though tiny entry on Flannery O'Connor describes her as "a genius of the grotesque". She wishes to have us terrorised into a state of grace yet since she qualifies as a genius she cannot, despite appearances, be a Christian any more than Dante was.
Her gnosis, in fact, derives from her grotesquerie. Whereupon Bloom remarks that since in the present age, the New Age of Islamic fundamentalist terror, "our lives perforce turn more grotesque", O'Connor's fiction is "likely to seem even more relevant". Well, in spite of its virtues, its ambition, its dashing opinions, its perpetual rebellion against much that needs to be rebelled against in the academic world, Bloom himself is grotesque enough to substantiate his own enormous claim to relevance.
After all, a single man sitting down to write a grotesque literary encyclopedia, is pretty amazing; Bloom has done it, and it remains only to express the hope that few will make the mistake of using it as such. Topics Books. Classics Higher education Frank Kermode Literary criticism reviews.
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