harold bloom

At the age of 80, with almost 40 books behind him and nearly as many accumulated honors, Harold Bloom has written, in “The Anatomy of Influence,” a kind of summing-up — or, as he puts it in his distinctive idiom, mixing irony with histrionism, “my virtual swan song,” born of his urge “to say in one place most of what I have learned to think about how influence works in imaginative literature.”

via NYTimes.com

“For me, Shakespeare is God,” he declares at one point, and in other places he says much the same thing, in much the same words, a reminder that to read Bloom once is in a sense to reread him, so often does he repeat himself. Twice he asserts that Shakespeare’s greatest creations are Falstaff, Hamlet, Iago and Cleopatra; twice that “The Tempest” and “The Winter’s Tale” are tragicomedies and not ro­mances; three times that “Titus Andronicus” parodies the tragedies of Shakespeare’s defeated rival Marlowe. Prospero, Bloom shrewdly observes, “is one of those teachers who is always convinced his auditors are not quite attentive.”