Possessed by Memory

About the Author: Harold Bloom

Bloom is a literary critic, and currently a Sterling Professor of the Humanities at Yale University Since the publication of his first book in 1959, Bloom has written than 20 books of literary criticism, several books discussing religion, and one novel He has edited hundreds of anthologies.

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  • Kindle Edition
  • 545 pages
  • Possessed by Memory
  • Harold Bloom
  • 01 April 2018

Possessed by Memory In Arguably His Most Personal And Lasting Book, America S Most Daringly Original And Controversial Critic Gives Us Brief, Luminous Readings Of Than Eighty Texts By Canonical Authors Texts He Has Had By Heart Since Childhood.Gone Are The Polemics Here, Instead, In A Memoir Of Sorts An Inward Journey From Childhood To Ninety Bloom Argues Elegiacally With Nobody But Bloom, Interested Only In The Influence Of The Mind Upon Itself When It Absorbs The Highest And Most Enduring Imaginative Literature He Offers Than Eighty Meditations On Poems And Prose That Have Haunted Him Since Childhood And Which He Has Possessed By Memory From The Psalms And Ecclesiastes To Shakespeare And Dr Johnson Spenser And Milton To Wordsworth And Keats Whitman And Browning To Joyce And Proust Tolstoy And Yeats To Del Schwartz And Amy Clampitt Blake To Wallace Stevens And So Much And Though He Has Written Before About Some Of These Authors, These Exegeses, Written In The Winter Of His Life, Are Movingly Informed By The Freshness Of Last Things As Bloom Writes Movingly One Of My Concerns Throughout Possessed By Memory Is With The Beloved Dead Most Of My Good Friends In My Generation Have Departed Their Voices Are Still In My Ears I Find That They Are Woven Into What I Read I Listen Not Only For Their Voices But Also For The Voice I Heard Before The World Was Made My Other Concern Is Religious, In The Widest Sense For Me Poetry And Spirituality Fuse As A Single Entity All My Long Life I Have Sought To Isolate Poetic Knowledge This Also Involves A Knowledge Of God And Gods I See Imaginative Literature As A Kind Of Theurgy In Which The Divine Is Summoned, Maintained, And Augmented.

10 thoughts on “Possessed by Memory

  1. Krista says:

    This book is reverie and not argument My title is the book in a single phrase What is it to be possessed by memory How does possession differ in these to possess dead or lost friends and lovers, or to possess poetry and heightened prose by memory Nearing ninety, legendary critic Harold Bloom has assembled in Possessed by Memory a sort of memoir out of his favourite poems alongside passages from the Old Testament and Shakespeare , which, with his own thoughts interspersed, give proof to the wonderful epigraph by Oscar Wilde That is what the highest criticism really is, the record of one s own soul Written over six years, we watch as Bloom s body inevitably declines, and urgently, we watch as he monthly says goodbye to his friends and colleagues of many decades he has, indeed, entered the elegy season I must confess that much of Bloom s thoughts on writing are beyond my understanding, but I learned much from the still active professor this is a dense yet rewarding read Note I read an ARC and passages quoted may not be in their final forms I am aware that some readers may turn away from Possessed by Memory because what they regard as heretical or at least esoteric dis...

  2. John says:

    My introduction to Harold Bloom was his Anxiety of Influence, which I read over 30 years ago I still have my original hardcover, though it is not a reference book like something to hang onto because you found it intriguing like a colorful shell on the beach.Although I enjoyed Possessed By Memory for the most part, I must say that much of what he has written in it has been written before by him It s repetitive, unfortunately, if you have been a reader of Bloom If you put the pages of this book under the cover of his recent critical memoirs like Anatomy of Influence and The Daemon Knows, ...

  3. Kevin Yee says:

    Beautiful A personal work filled with final observations of a lifetime of reading I learned a lot from Bloom s influences and works that hold a special place for him, I found the recollection of his memories that tie works to specific moments very moving.

  4. Eric Willeforde says:

    A memoir in the form of commentary on great classic poems and contemporary poems by people Bloom knew I wish he did this for novelists too but this is quite good.

  5. Haifa says:

    Eurocentric literariness at its best.