Bloom in Love

As regular readers of this blog know, over the past year or so I’ve been reading a lot of Harold Bloom. I’ve blogged my favorite quotes from his books as I’ve come across them, read several books on the strength of his recommendation (Bleak House, Kafka’s Blue Octavo Notebooks, Tolstoy’s Hadji Murad). But I don’t think I’ve said much about his body of work as a body of work, or articulated what it is about him that compels my sustained interest. And I’m still not going to do that–at least not today; first, because I’m not yet prepared to articulate that thought or those thoughts (blogs happen basically in real time, and my own work here is a present-tense record of my own ongoing education and expanding horizons, rather than any kind of attempted statement of intractable positions or beliefs); and second, even if I was prepared to attempt such an undertaking, I’ve got other things to do this afternoon. But, since the Viceland interview I linked to the other day seems to have been received well, I thought I would share another bit of Webvailable Bloomiana: this New York Times Review of Bloom’s Where Shall Wisdom Be Found?. The review is from October 2004, and is written by the great Melville scholar Andrew Delbanco. It offers a concise and articulate an introduction to Bloom’s virtues and talents–as well as a clear-eyed but vitriol-free acknowledgment of his limitations. I don’t know–or care, quite frankly–whether it will sell you on Bloom, but I think it will help make clear why I have become such a regular customer.