(PDF/EPUB) [Possessed by Memory] å Harold Bloom

Ot work or many among us and I reuently retreat the Psalms to the poetry of Paul Celan which a difficult rightness and does not seek to praise what can no longer has a difficult rightness and does not seek to praise what can no longer praised My religion is the appreciation of high literature Shakespeare is the summit Revelation or me is Shakespearean or nothing The deepest lesson I have learned Still Life with Chickens from Johnson is that any authority of criticism as a literary genre must depend on the human wisdom of the critic and not upon the wrongness or rightness of either theory or praxis Now almost all of myriends among the poets and critics of my generation have departed Mourning Still Life with Chickens: Starting Over in a House by the Sea for so many men and women does not diffuse an individual grief yet makes it seem less urgent I have no doubt that Possessed by Memory will be of most interest to those who better speak Bloom s language but Iound many points of connection here myself most especially when Bloom was writing intimately of his decline and his losses In its way it s a perfectly Paradox Bound fitting memoir the capstone of a deep reader s life Beautiful A personal workilled with inal observations of a lifetime of reading I learned a lot rom Bloom s influences and works that hold a special place STFU, Parents: The Jaw-Dropping, Self-Indulgent, and Occasionally Rage-Inducing World of Parent Overshare for him Iound the recollection of his memories that tie works to specific moments very moving I remember walking into a bookstore last April and seeing this heavy book displayed on the countertop Dear God the guy is still alive I said to the bookstore s owner It must be a posthumous volume I did not buy the book then it overwhelmed me But just a couple of days later I dutifully trotted back to the same place and splurged on this sizeable tome by a writer who was still alive at that time but would soon be goneHe might have seemed so out of touch old WHITE MALE AND ALL THIS FREUD male And all this Freud in the 21st century But somehow since I discovered him he elt like a kindred soul obsessed by beauty possessed by his love or literature which became his real world his real home I envied him his passion his dedication to the pursuit of the sublime What a wonderful life he must have lived in his mind RIP one of the greatest literary scholars of all time Eurocentric literariness at its best Normally I love his insight s but not this time This is a reflection on me than the author. Beloved dead Most of my good Syncopated: An Anthology of Nonfiction Picto-Essays friends in my generation have departed Their voices are still in my ears Iind that they are woven into what I read I listen not only Are All Guys Assholes?: More Than 1,000 Guys in 10 Cities Reveal Why They're Not, Why They Sometimes Act Like They Are, and How Understanding Their ... Will Solve Your Guy Drama Once and For All for their voices but alsoor the voice I heard before the world was made My other concern is religious in the widest sense For me poetry and spirituality use as a single entity All my long life I have sought to isolate poetic knowledge This also involves a knowledge of God and gods I see imaginative literature as a kind of theurgy in which the divine is summoned maintained and augmented. Poetic magnitude is provided by the sublime progeny a poet engenders By that test Wordsworth William Blake Shelley and John Keats can be awarded the palm over Byron Each of them lived on in the cavalcade of Anglo American Poetry From Tennyson And Browning Through poetry rom Tennyson and Browning through and Emily Dickinson on to Thomas Hardy D H Lawrence William Butler Yeats Wallace Stevens Robert Frost T S Eliot and Hart Crane I can think only of early Auden as a poet who attempted to carry on Byron s legacy with indifferent success And only of early Auden as a poet who attempted to carry on Byron s legacy with indifferent success And am even lost when Bloom legacy with indifferent success And am even lost when Bloom in the jargon of poetry The transcendental impulse that powers Shelley s Pindaric lights is not alien to Keats yet he turns away rom it as Shakespeare did choosing Ovidian Mexican Hooker flux and change over Platonic yearningsor a premature Eternity And if I may be permitted a minor complaint on The League for the Suppression of Celery format Possessed by Memory often reads like a collection of essays instead of one linked work Not only could I not really see an overall theme other than an aged Bloom sharing whatever poemshigh prose heelt like writing about but many definitive statements were repeated throughout the essays each time as though The Thirteen-Gun Salute for theirst time that Johnson had inherited Suspicion at Seven: A Lois Meade Mystery from Pope a distrust of the Sublime or that Blake like Milton was a sect of one or that Tennyson knew the uantity of every English word exceptor scissors or that Whitman writes as though he is ahead of us and waiting or the reader to catch up But who am I to criticise the criticFor the most part this is a collection of other peoples mostly Western white males writing Bloom s own thoughts take up not much space at all However I will put here some of what I ound most intriguing Since childhood I have meditated upon this agon of Israel with the Angel of Death I interpret it not only as an allegory of Jewish history indeed of universal history but also as the story of my own life and the lives of everyone I have known loved taught and mourned In the half light of my incessant nocturnal wakefulness I begin to conceive of it as the struggle of every solitary deep reader to The Day Fidel Died find in the highest literature what will suffice From childhood through old age I have been made uncomfortable by a God who demands sacrifices that are also thanksgivings Post Holocaust this will Haunted him since childhood and which he has possessed by memoryrom the Psalms and Ecclesiastes to Shakespeare and Dr Johnson; Spenser and Milton to Wordsworth and Keats; Whitman and Browning to Joyce and Proust; Tolstoy and Yeats to Del Schwartz and Amy Clampitt; Blake to Wallace Stevens and so much And though he has written before about some of these authors these exegeses written in the winter of his life are movingly informed by the reshness of last thingsAs Bloom writes movingly One of my concerns throughout Possessed by Memory is with the. ,

Possessed by Memory