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Friday, October 14, 2005

The Invention of Bloom

I hopped from The Reading Experience to an interview with Harold Bloom at Eurozine.

What strikes me is the wonderful complexity and roundness of the man's self-portrait--his dramatic vision of himself as Professor Bloom, beleaguered and scorned and beloved, enduring the twilight of Europe and the darkening of this land from inside his castle of books. Here's the breadth of a life--the death waiting, the wondering child, the grandeur and the weakness, and the way that an intelligent child became a lover of splendor and flourish and beauty.

He portrays himself as a sort of perambulating-and-thinking plum-pudding, a hodgepodge of familiar and unfamiliar and contradictory elements stewed together: the very sort of rich character he would admire, discovering him on the page.

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.