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I do value Bloom's Critical Series, but I will say that Mr. Bloom's introductions are always so entrenched with his Pater-driven, Shakespeare-centric ideas of what makes great literature that said introductory essays always leave a little bit of a bad taste in my mouth. Bloom raises some excellent points: he is, after-all, a decent scholar--if a misguided one. His desire to read Kushner without acknowledging the political components of Kushner's intent is extremely misguided. Even the most politically charged literature can stand the test of time, and I feel Bloom is a somewhat poor disciple of Pater and Wilde (both of whom I respect infinitely). Despite my complaints about Bloom's tiresome introduction, the collection is an extremely valuable contribution of Kushner scholarship. Works on Kushner are mostly limited to journal articles, so a collection of essays is ideal. This collection includes seminal works on Kushner and essays that pay close attention to Kushner's "minor" works. "Angels" is undoubtedly one of the best American plays, but Kushner is no one-trick pony. Bloom appropriately dubs James Fisher one of Kushner's most eminent scholars, and one cannot approach Kushner criticism without considering Fisher's contributions. This collection is basically worth it just for the Jonathan Freedman essay. Freedman's insights into the intersections of queer and Jewish identities are revelations, and his approach to Kushner's rendering of Roy Cohn is probably the most important insight into "Angles in America." It is a work for both that aspiring Kushner reader and the devout Kushner scholar.
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