With The Western Canon, Yale-based critical eminence Bloom tapped into a strain of the cultural zeitgeist looking for authoritative takes on what to read. Bloom here follows up with 6-10 pages each on 100 "geniuses" of literature (all deceased) pointing to the major works, outlining the major achievements therein, showing us how to recognize them for ourselves. Despite the book's length, Bloom's mostly male geniuses are, as he notes "certainly not `the top one hundred' in anyone's judgement, my own included. I wanted to write about these." Bloom backs up his choices with such effortless and engaging erudition that their idiosyncrasy and casualness become strengths. While organized under the rubric of the 10 Kabalistic Sefirot, "attributes at once of God and of Adam Kadmon or Divine Man, God's Image," Bloom's chosen figures are associated by his own brilliant (and sometimes jabbingly provocative) forms of attention, from a linkage of Dr. Johnson, Goethe and Freud to one of Dickens, Celan and Ellison (with a few others in between them). A pleasant surprise is the plethora of lesser-known Latin American authors, from Luz Vaz de Camoes to Jos Maria Ea de Queiroz and Alejo Carpentier. Many familiar greats are here, too, as is a definition of genius. "This book is not a work of analysis or of close reading, but of surmise and juxtaposition," Bloom writes, and as such readers will find it appropriately enthusiastic and wild.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Bloom, a distinguished and often controversial literary critic and best-selling author of numerous books about literature (e.g., How To Read and Why), explores the concept of literary genius through the ages by examining 100 writers. Aside from such "must includes" as Shakespeare, Dante, Cervantes, Homer, Virgil, and Plato, Bloom offers some perhaps less well known to American readers, such as Lady Murasaki and Octavio Paz, acknowledging that his selections are idiosyncratic and were chosen because he wanted to write about certain authors, not because they were necessarily in "the top one hundred." In the introduction, Bloom posits a definition of genius that is fleshed out in his discussion of each writer. Authors are clustered into Lustres, or groups of five, while a brief introduction to each section explains why the writers in the section are associated with one another. (Each of the Lustres is based on one of the common names for the Kabbalistic Sefirot, which Bloom describes as representing God's creativity or genius.) Although the book is a delight to read, its real value lies in the author's ability to provoke the reader into thinking about literature, genius, and related topics. No similar work discusses literary genius in this way or covers this many writers. Recommended for public and academic libraries.
Shana C. Fair, Ohio Univ. Lib., Zanesville
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This is not for the lazy reader.. So If you are looking for a light summer read- This is not the book you are looking for..Published 1 month ago by Miss Grace
difficult as hell to read. has some big ass words. but a good read nonetheless.Published 7 months ago by Justin S
I stumbled upon this book as a casual reader and as such, even though I was familiar by name with most of the authors here, I had never read a most of the older authors (Milton,... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Larry Bagina
Despite a few major faults, Genius is one of the most interesting and thought-provoking books on literature I have recently had the pleasure of reading. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Preston W. Waltrip
This is another copy of this book which we are giving to a friend. As we say, it's a classic.Published on August 22, 2013 by Roberta Hewit-Keesey
Despite the author's erudition and his reputation, Bloom's book is not satisfying for a reader looking to partake in a literary feast. Read morePublished on July 26, 2012 by Donald J. Richardson
I tend to measure books by the amount of my underlining, and there's a lot of that here. Unending. The all time champion reader and likely best writer of our time synthesizes for... Read morePublished on July 19, 2012 by Frank E. Brown
whatever we call best in ourselves, our spark of `high divinity', harold bloom finds reflected from the authors of the great texts, the texts pretty much found on library shelves,... Read morePublished on December 17, 2011 by Case Quarter
Harold Bloom's *Genius: A Mosaic of 100 Exemplary Creative Minds* is a 10-yr. old work of great synthesis. Read morePublished on August 27, 2011 by pbsind