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Fallen Angels Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 30, 2007

3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, October 30, 2007
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From the Author

A Conversation with Harold Bloom


Q: When you say that all angels are, in effect, fallen angels, you mean that all representations of angels contain the seeds of our awareness of our mortality?

A: Yes. I would complement that observation with the famous dispute as to the name and nature of the person with whom Jacob wrestles at Peniel all night long. In Christian tradition, this being is taken as God himself. The Hebrew text clearly says “some man” struggled with Jacob. In many Talmudic interpretations, that individual, who is one of the Elohim or divine beings, is identified as the angel of death. The doubleness of the word Elohim, which can be taken as either an angel or as a substitute name for the forbidden Yahweh, accounts for part of the disagreement.


Q: How do you respond to those who would fault you for what is a literary approach to—in some instances—sacred books?

A: All distinctions between the literary and theological seem to me invalid. To say that some literature is sacred and some secular I regard as a purely political distinction.


Q: What—if you could name but one or two—are the most powerful representations of fallen angels in world literature?

A: The most powerful representation is certainly the Satan of Paradise Lost. And yet he himself is deeply influenced by Shakespeare’s Iago, Macbeth, and Hamlet. It may seem yet another Bloomian eccentricity, but I think the greatest representation of a fallen angel is Hamlet.


Q: Tell me about the artwork in Fallen Angels

A: Mark is my collaborator in this project. I have long admired his illustrations. At first I thought they had a touch of Chagall… but there is a different kind of exuberance in Podwal’s illuminations, a word I choose from William Blake’s description of his own paintings and engravings. I find in Mark’s vision a wonderful fusion of intense singularity and receptivity toward the Jewish visual tradition.



About the Author

Harold Bloom, Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University, is the author of twenty-eight books. His best-known publications include his New York Times best-sellers The Western Canon, Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human, and The Book of J, as well as his pioneering studies A Visionary Company and The Anxiety of Influence. He is a MacArthur Prize Fellow, a member of the Academy of Arts and Letters, and the recipient of many awards and honorary degrees.

Mark Podwal is the author of ten books and has illustrated more than eighteen others, including five by Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel. His works are represented in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Victoria and Albert Museum, Carnegie Museum of Art, and many others.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (October 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300123485
  • ASIN: B005Q8I15M
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 11 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,048,712 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Harold Bloom is a Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University and a former Charles Eliot Norton Professor at Harvard. His more than thirty books include The Best Poems of the English Language, The Art of Reading Poetry, and The Book of J. He is a MacArthur Prize Fellow, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the recipient of many awards and honorary degrees, including the Academy's Gold Medal for Belles Lettres and Criticism, the International Prize of Catalonia, and the Alfonso Reyes Prize of Mexico.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
hamlet's a fallen angel, byron's a fallen angel, and, of course, satan's a fallen angel, that is milton's satan. there are other satans, some of them as well are angels, but not like milton's satan. and adam is a fallen angel, adam removed by creation from the judaic god of the old testament even before the creation of eve. (a good point. if adam, made by jehovah, was perfect, why would adam say he was lonely?) i don't know if bloom believes eve's tempter was a fallen angel. i suppose bloom would have to write another book about the satan(s).

bloom's fallen angels are literary: hamlet and milton's satan. bryon's characters are fallen angels only as much as they represent byron the man as fallen angel.

essentially, or quintessentially, we're all fallen angels, according to bloom, we are all dying animals and within us is trapped that which wants to transcend death and our animal existence. it was hamlet who helped us understand this. hamlet is more than we will ever be. we're all pale reflections of hamlet.

the fallen angel seem to be a metaphor for harold bloom's other ideas. if you're familiar with bloom's writings, you'll recognize his ideas from his other books. if you're not familiar, the brevity and incompleteness here will leave you with questions. and if your questions are pressing, you can find, if not answers, more questions to your question, in detail in one or more of blooms other books. and if you're feeling anxious, bloom has even written a book entitled `The Anxiety of Influence'.

i didn't particularly like the illustrations, the watercolors by mark podwal. watercolors have a tendency to be messy. henry miller liked working in the element; he found the activity childlike.
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Format: Hardcover
I have been a great admirer of Harold Bloom for many years now, and as such I've read nearly everything the man has written. Imagine my surprise when I picked this up and found that not only was nothing added to Mr. Bloom's theology of angels, but entire passages had been lifted verbatim from an earlier work of his, Omens of Millennium. If you want to learn more about esoteric angelologies, pick up almost any of his other non-literary works. But, if you want a pretty little meditation on the nature of angels and humanity and God...actually, in that case, just go ahead and get Omens of Millennium.
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Format: Hardcover
If you are looking to be consoled or to have your beliefs sanctified then look elsewhere. This is a book that invites you to plainly propound our paradoxical nature. Like Bloom's small book on Hamlet this a beautiful aside on a topic he couldn't let go. It is less of a scholarly work than a personal testament and testimonial. If Bloom's Hamlet is an aside to his work on Shakespeare than this is his aside to Omens of Millennium. For those sympathetic to Bloom's spiritual stance as an atheist-jewish-gnostic there will be much here to appreciate.
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