Tag Archives: Harold Bloom

#123: On Shakespeare’s Birthday

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Harold Bloom
said that Shakespeare
invented the human.
Bloom’s a blowhard
pretty much but
I think in this case
he might be right.
What writer in English
before Shakespeare
anticipated Freud
and Jung, fleshed
out all the archetypes,
captured the various
loves and hates and
the myriad mental states
and the thousand natural
shocks that flesh is
heir to? No one.
And no one has
done it better
since.  Sure,
Shakespeare stole
a lot of material–
none of his subjects
emerged entirely
from his own imaginative
territory–but those lines,
all those words, that
richness, that wisdom;
almost every
possible thought
can be found
there somewhere
in the deep, deep
landscape of his plays.
So, happy 450th, Bill;
your work so much
a part of me now,
I feel, in fact, and often,
almost invented.

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Filed under Literature, Poetry, Writing and Reading

#72: Potter Author Trending

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First of all, I’m embarrassed
that I took the bait, hook, line,
and sinker, in the sidebar list
of stories “trending” on the
Mighty Social Network; secondly,
I’m ashamed I clicked on this
particular subject matter,
an author I am only nominally
interested in–an author for
which only in the very
most minimal way could I say
I am a fan. I am vicariously a fan
because I have a young son
interested in The Potter and must
admit also to having personally
enjoyed the films, and must admit
also again of not liking her
mostly because everyone
in the universe liked her, and
somewhat because she learned
to write in public and that just
makes me jealous.
No, all of that
is pretty much a non-starter.
This is what caught me:
J.K. Rowling regrets the romantic
pairing up of two characters,
Ron and Hermione, wishes she
had not written that romance.
And I think, on the one hand,
that this is hilarious–but then, on
the other hand, that this, more
than anything else she has done
as a writer, instills in me finally
an enormous and new respect
for J.K. Rowling, who says the
romance was wish fulfillment
and not literature. This is decidedly
not hilarious. All of my
fiction is wish fulfillment, I think,
and I feel bad now, for my fiction,
but also because I think I have
not been fair to the author of
The Potter. Listen, you naysayers,
you Harold Bloom thumping elitists
of which I used to be one:
She’s serious.

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Filed under Culture, Literature, Poetry, Self Reflection, Writing and Reading