Talk:Harold Bloom

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Recent Writers[edit]

"Since Murdoch's death, Bloom has expressed admiration for novelists such as John Banville, Peter Ackroyd, Will Self, and A. S. Byatt." Are there any online links that illustrate Blooms admiration for these writers? They all seem like writers Bloom would like, but have only ever come across him discussing Banville. A reference would be much appreciated, did he talk about them in a televisual/newspaper interview not available online, or in a recent book? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 79.68.2.80 (talk) 21:18, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Took care of it.--Artimaean (talk) 00:52, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

I am surtprised there is no mention of his dismissive attitude to Cam,us in his intro the the book publ in the series Bloom's Modern Critical Views (Chelsea, 1989) "time ... hqas worn The Stranger rather smooth" (1); "The Stranger is bartely able to sustain an aestheticdignity and certainlyis much slighter than we thought it to be" (2); —Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.253.4.160 (talk) 16:35, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

As far as novelists Bloom has, in books as recent as his 2000 "How to Read and Why?", often called Philip Roth one of the most important living novelists. He included "Blood Meridian" and "The Crying of Lot 49"-- by Cormac McCarthy and Thomas Pynchon respectively-- in his list of American novels to read; they are also living writers. I don't believe he included a book by Roth in this section, but has stated his admiration for "Sabbath's Theater" and "Operation Shylock" elsewhere. As a final note on living novelists, he expressed admiration of "Gravity's Rainbow" and "Mason and Dixon", both by Pynchon. 75.110.31.87 (talk) 00:04, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

As for poetry, Bloom has expressed the opinion that both John Ashbery and Anne Carson are important living poets. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.110.31.87 (talk) 23:53, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

In Novels and Novelists, a collection of his Modern Critical Views intros for novelists, he praises many of Roth's novels, including The Human Stain, I Married a Communist, American Pastoral, My Life as a Man, Portnoy's Complaint, etc. He says that none of his books are "period pieces", though Letting Go, The Breast, The Facts, Our Gang, and When She Was Good never found him. In his Paris Review interview (Vol. 2 of the collected interviews), he says that Deception is very good. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 94.31.7.21 (talk) 15:37, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

Robinson[edit]

In "Genius," p. 714, he does indeed name Robinson, along with Pound, Williams, Crane, Frost, Eliot, Stevens, Merrill, Ammons and a few more, as one of the "superb poets" in American literature of the last century. To me it seems more reasonable to name the poets of the century rather than naming those who are "recent", as "recent" will mean something quite different to different people reading the entry at different times. -- Damion

It should be fairly obvious from the names mentioned that 'recent' in this context refers roughly to those appeared in the post-WWII period (Penn got started earlier, but Bloom only regards his later work), which is the period in which the canon appears to be completely unsettled, and the period of Bloom's professional life. The only reasons to include this section at all are that the writers Bloom favors are, for the most part, unknown or barely known to the average person (Ammons, Merrill, McCarthy, Saramago, Geoffrey Hill, etc.), and that some of his choices are unusual or controversial. By contrast, the probably canonicity Eliot, Frost, Pound, Hart Crane, Faulkner, Auden and others who were established before the war is so commonly known that there's no particular signifigance to the fact that Bloom also believes in it. - 66.190.242.110 December 12, 2003

If by "recent" you mean post-WWII, you should state so in the entry; otherwise, how is anyone to know? -- Damion

I clicked on a link to find allegations about Bloom's sexual misconduct with a student. It seems odd to have such a link without any sort of response... —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 165.106.221.130 (talk) January 30, 2005

New comments on the bottom please, and please sign them, which you can do with four tildes (~). If there is a response from Bloom that you are aware of, please add it to the article. Gamaliel 20:47, 30 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Bloom has also said, at times both in "The Western Canon" and "How to Read and Why" that the poets John Ashbery and Anne Carson are important; and that the novelists Philip Roth, Thomas Pynchon, and Cormac McCarthy (mentioned above) are important. From all I have read of Bloom, which is alot, I realize he is often prone to inconsistencies in list making; or, better yet, his lists are inconsistent from publication to publication. 75.110.31.87 (talk) 00:04, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

Regarding inconsistency, in 'The Western Canon' he said that he was unhappy about including Robert Lowell in his final list, but assumed that because nearly every other critic esteemed him, he (Bloom) must be wrong. In 'Till I End My Song', he said that after rereading Lowell's poems, he realised that the poet was indeed canonical and that he had been mistaken earlier. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 94.31.32.30 (talk) 11:18, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Sexual harassment allegations[edit]

This ought to be included: http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/features/n_9932/index4.html

"Although she acknowledged that what she alleged Bloom did was not harassment, either legally or emotionally, she claimed to have harbored this secret for 21 years." -- This is inaccurate. She does not "acknowledge" that it was not harassment "emotionally" -- instead, what she says is that "encroachment" and "transgression" are more accurate than "harassment." In other words, she did not actually say that emotional harassment did not occur. The word "harassment" in the context of "sexual harassment" means something different than "harassment" alone. While "harassment" alone suggests persistence, "sexual harassment," simply means a sexual advance. (See definitions for both at www.dictionary.com.) Thus, "sexual harassment," in the emotional sense, is still accurate. Naomi Wolf simply used alternative words, "encroachment" and "transgression" because they get more to the point, whereas there is more ambiguity based on the differences between "harassment" and "sexual harassment." Laulaulau26 (talk) 18:22, 4 April 2011 (UTC)laulaulau26

  • It's unclear what point you're trying to make, but it's obviously wrong to say that "'sexual harassment' simply means a sexual advance". Here, from the Dictionary.com entry on Sexual Harassment. is some relevant language: "In order to recover against an employer under a sexual harassment suit, the plaintiff has to show that the harassment affected the employment (as by being severe or pervasive)." Similar criteria apply to educational settings.Nightspore (talk) 23:58, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

Specific allegations from a well-known named source (Naomi Wolf) in major media (New York). —Preceding unsigned comment added by 160.39.129.124 (talk) 21:46, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

  • However, the allegations came 20 years later, when it would be only a "he said, she said" type deal. There is no actual evidence in terms of the Lewinsky/Clinton ordeal. I've read the article, too, and she essencially blames him for the fact that she was failing at Yale, when he had nothing to do with it. ---- Unregistered User

That doesn't change the fact that she accused him of it. --68.90.239.4 (talk) 02:11, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

  • I don't understand what your point is. She did not accuse him of sexual harassment. She explicitly denies that she is making such an accusation, and says that what she claims he did was NOT harassment. If you accept her at her word, accept all of it.Nightspore (talk) 14:56, 9 May 2010 (UTC)Nightspore
Oh, c'mon this is the same tired old game of trying to assassinate the character of someone you don't like for political or cultural reasons, the same hack job Bloom tried to pull on the venerable Thomas Wolfe who, had he still been living, would have rammed back down his throat with brio. To put Bloom's sardonic view in perspective, one can look to the Wikipedia article on Wolfe describing his literary reputation while he was alive which included being vaunted by Sinclair Lewis during his Nobel Prize acceptance oration. I have serious questions whether Bloom actually read Wolfe's work in any detail before writing that review for the New York Times in 1987 beyond trolling it for ammunition to use in a hit piece motivated by animosity towards Wolfe's anti-semitism, which in the end came across like one of Wolfe's caricatures of such an individual. In short the contempt of Yankee upstart "New York Intellectuals" towards Wolfe was something entirely reciprocated by him who loathed their milieu. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.181.172.225 (talk) 19:22, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

Dead link in references[edit]

"Can 35 Million Book Buyers Be Wrong? Yes" was being used as a reference but it gave me a 404 error; I've used a reference that was already in the article which seems to cover the same or similar material. Jokeslayer (talk) 15:08, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

File:Segment 3607 460x345.jpg Nominated for speedy Deletion[edit]

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"Notable works"[edit]

I'm thinking about removing the "notable works" listed in the box. Probably more than 10 of his works are notable by Wikipedia's standards (see WP:NOTABILITY), which is too many to be included. I think with living writers in general it is best to leave this section of the infobox blank, since it remains to be seen which works will survive most strongly. Gregcaletta (talk) 20:27, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

I'd say that he is best known for The Anxiety of Influence, but maybe that's just because I'm an old-timer. — goethean 22:33, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
That was certainly true for the 20 years following its publication, but I don't think it's particularly true of the last few years. But even if it is true, the question is whether it is necessary to assert it in the infobox. Gregcaletta (talk) 23:00, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Gregcaletta. It's not as if he has one defining work. He has many notable works; too many to bother mentioning here. Farrtj (talk) 00:08, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
I agree... it's a lot of data. But why delete instead of creating a subpage, ala Mark Twain bibliography? Best, Markvs88 (talk) 13:08, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
Markvs88, I think we have our wires crossed. I think the bibliography at the bottom of the page is necessary. I'm talking about the three works listed as "notable works" in the infobox, in the top right-hand corner of the article. Gregcaletta (talk) 20:26, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
Apologies, I don't know how I missed that. I agree with your idea. Best, Markvs88 (talk) 22:14, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

Typical Wiki Plagiarism[edit]

From this entry:

"Bloom organized what he called "the factory" in New Haven, employed 16 full-time staffers at one stage, as well as scores of freelance graduate students, and at his peak knocked out 15 books a month and three introductions a week."

From http://chronicle.com/article/Harold-Bloom-by-the-Numbers/127211/ (linked from this entry):

"Bloom organized what he called "the factory" in New Haven, employed 16 full-time staffers at one stage, as well as scores of freelance graduate students, and at his peak knocked out 15 books a month and three introductions a week."

Typical.35.24.46.141 (talk) 11:30, 28 June 2012 (UTC)fed_up

I've removed the section per WP:COPYVIO. — goethean 22:15, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Reducing the extraneous material in this bloated article[edit]

Hi,

There is a great deal of extraneous and disorganized material in this article. So I am removing it. To begin, there is no need for any of this text to be in the introduction:

Bloom teaches two classes at Yale: one on the plays of William Shakespeare; the other on poetry from Geoffrey Chaucer to Hart Crane. Some of his writing has reflected this teaching, from Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human (1998) to The Anatomy of Influence (2011), which he has called the summa of his career.
At the start of his career, Bloom studied the Romantic and Modernist poets, in particular Percy Bysshe Shelley, W. B. Yeats and Wallace Stevens. From this study, combined with the influence of Freud, Emerson and many others, Bloom developed theories of poetic influence, marked by the publication of The Anxiety of Influence (1973). These theories dominated his writing for a decade, after which he began to focus on what he named "religious criticism", in books such as The Book of J (1990) and The American Religion (1992). Another shift in his career began with an impassioned defense of the non-politicised teaching of canonical literature in The Western Canon (1994). He has continued his religious criticism in books such as Jesus and Yahweh (2005) and The Shadow of a Great Rock: A Literary Appreciation of The King James Bible (2011).

These superfluous paragraphs need to be removed or reduced significantly. I've done the latter:

Bloom has frequently recounted that his attachment to poetry began when, at the age of ten, he discovered Hart Crane's Collected Poems at the Melrose Branch of the Bronx Public Library.[9] "Together with William Blake (an influence upon him)," Bloom would write, "Hart Crane was my first love among the great poets, and like Blake he gave me a lifelong addiction to high poetry."[10] He also found and read the Poems and Prophecies of William Blake. "I saw the Oxford English Dictionary there for the first time," he said many years later. "I remember being so touched by the enormous availability of large and complex dictionaries and concordances. I remember ransacking them."[11] Bloom says he knew "by age eleven or twelve that all I really liked to do was read poetry and discuss it."
Bloom entered Cornell University in 1947 on scholarship (as one of 65 people in the Bronx that year to win a scholarship from the State Department of Education). At Cornell he found a mentor in M. H. Abrams, a leading scholar of Romanticism and the founding and general editor of The Norton Anthology of English Literature. He earned his B.A. in 1951. He then spent a year at Pembroke College, Cambridge in 1954-55 as a Fulbright scholar, where he met and "regularly talked with" C S Lewis.[12] He then went to Yale University, to finish his Ph.D.''

This section needs concision, which I've begun:

Bloom received his Ph.D. in 1955 and won the John Addison Porter Prize the following year. He has worked as a member of the Yale faculty ever since. For some years, he has taught two classes at Yale: one on the plays of William Shakespeare; the other on poetry from Geoffrey Chaucer to Hart Crane.[citation needed]
In 1959, Bloom married Jeanne Gould and they enjoyed their honeymoon in Spain.[13] They have two sons, Daniel Jacob and David Moses.[citation needed]
In 1985, Bloom was a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship. From 1988 to 2004, Bloom served as Berg Professor of English at New York University while maintaining his Sterling Professorship at Yale and continuing to teach there. In 2010 he became a founding patron of Ralston College, a new institution in Savannah, Georgia that focuses on primary texts.[14][15]
Bloom claims to have been able to read 400 pages an hour in his prime.[2]
In an interview promoting his book, How to Read and Why in 2000, he claimed he has voted Democratic Party members or for socialist candidates in elections since he was franchised in 1952, and had no desire to ever vote for the Republican Party.

The "Thinking about Influence" and "Influence" sections are vague, poorly written, and need to be shortened.

174.49.172.92 (talk) 14:17, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

I am not okay with those changes. Why are you removing the bit about Hart Crane and Blake and the public library? — goethean 14:52, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
The Hart Crane piece has been put back in. The library bit is irrelevant. The vast majority of the biographical blather is unimportant and much of it lacks citation. It's material that might be useful on a blog or biographical webpage/study, but it is not appropriate for an encyclopedia entry. Even with the material removed, this page is still much too long and verbose on details that have no place here.174.49.172.92 (talk) 16:53, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
You can remove unsourced material, but I disagree with your characterization of biographical material as "blather". — goethean 17:00, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
Blather might be too strong a term. But irrelevant details--like the number of words Bloom claimed he could read or where he went on his honeymoon--whether sourced or not, are inappropriate to be included here. As an encyclopedia article, the text should have a sharper focus on his work and its influence, and any biographical detail should relate to his work/its influence.174.49.172.92 (talk) 17:45, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Goethean. Bloom's presence and notability are partly manifestations of his own massive self-presentations in the world. People reading this article are going to want to know about the some of the things he refers to repeatedly in interviews and in his books when he talks about himself. This is the sort of thing that they'll want to know, and I must say the kind of wholesale deletion you feel entitled to take on yourself after many people have worked on this article for many years risks looking arrogant. Nightspore (talk) 20:59, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
Blooms magnamity or modesty has no bearing on how his information should be presented on Wikipedia. Many years of people working on an article does not a good text make—in fact, this article is piecemealed, incredibly unorganized, and full of material that is not suitable for an encyclopedia (see my reference to some of them above).174.49.172.92 (talk) 22:55, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
I didn't say anything about magnanimity (I don't know what "magnamity" is) or modesty. I attempted to suggest that Bloom's notability is partly ascribable to just those things you in your wisdom have decided have no place in this article. You've made your point and I've made mine. I am reverting your wholesale deletions once again. I suggest that now that this is an issue we both lay off for a while and let some other editors decide weigh in. You're not the final arbiter as to what is appropriate for an encyclopedia article, and I think you should be a little more modest in your revisions. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Nightspore (talkcontribs) 03:34, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
Whatever the nature of Bloom's notability, the article should not be disorganized and include random factoids that have no bearing whatever on his importance or the influence of his work. As you revise here, please do it piece-by-piece, as the editor did above re: Hart Crane.174.49.172.92 (talk) 13:06, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

Page protection[edit]

I've added three days full protection following a request from FreeKnowledgeCreator on RfPP. The request was for semi-protection but as it seems to be a content dispute about a BLP, I thought full protection might be more appropriate. Let me know if you need an extension, or if it can be lifted early.

To 174.49.172.92, if the text you're changing is long-standing, the best way forward is to gain consensus for your changes before you make them. If there is material in the article that violates our biography of living persons (BLP) policy, that can be removed immediately; you can ask for help at the BLP noticeboard if that is an issue, or if there's an urgent BLP problem, you can find an admin at WP:AN/I. Otherwise, discussion is the way forward, rather than repeatedly reverting. Many thanks, SlimVirgin (talk) 04:06, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

Do you think the material 174.49.172.92 has removed violates BLP? If so, in what way? FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 07:14, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
The material that was removed included the subject's home address and other personal details; without checking the sources I don't know whether it has all been published, but I think even if a home address has appeared in a secondary source it's not a good idea for us to publish it. The point of adding full protection was to get you all to discuss this so it's a pity that isn't happening. SlimVirgin (talk) 03:07, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for drawing attention to this. I'll certainly be careful about what material I restore, when protection expires. 174.49.172.92 still needs to discuss with other editors, however. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 03:14, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) As 174.49.172.92 isn't discussing the issue, I've removed the protection. Please take extra care BLP-wise just in case there's a concern that isn't obvious, and to err on the side of caution I think the home address should not be restored even if it's in a good source – unless the subject has published it himself, which is a different matter. SlimVirgin (talk) 03:17, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

Hi--I've discussed the removed text above. I cut a series of statements that have no place on the page, such as where he went on his honeymoon. Bloom's honeymoon destination could be noteworthy if he met someone who inspired him there or had some revelation that influenced his importance while honeymooning, but he didn't. The honeymoon bit and the rest of it is just fluff. If someone would like to keep something I've taken out -- that's fine, just note why here on the talk page.174.49.172.92 (talk) 04:08, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

Some of the material you removed may have been either questionable under BLP, or trivial, and if so you were right to remove it. But you have no veto over article content. I've restored some material that you deleted without any apparent good reason; please don't remove it again. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 06:25, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

POV in intro[edit]

Automamet has serially reverted text without explanation of anything on Talk page. This is against wiki policy, WP:3RR. The intro section should not be celebratory. While Bloom may be notable as an "important" critic in popular spheres, that concept is not shared by many contemporary literary scholars. The hagiographic lead-in section is a POV issue.Macroscope7 (talk) 10:15, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

Per WP:LEDE, the lead needs to summarize the article body. What material does your edit summarize? — goethean 17:22, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

The criticism section. It could be further developed to reflect that Bloom has been unimportant in literary circles for decades.Macroscope7 (talk) 18:40, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

The text added to the lead does not accurately summarize the material in the criticism section of the article. Instead, it brings up an entirely new point of criticism. Accordingly, I will be moving the material from the lead to the body of the article. — goethean 18:59, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
The problem with the lead-in is not what is or isn't summarized (incidentally the quotes you've left in the lead do not summarize anything from the article, either--I trust you overlooked that) the problem is the hagiographic POV. Made summaries and moved the quotes.Macroscope7 (talk) 20:35, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Goethean. Please stop adding this tendentious material. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 03:43, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
I agree as well -- though there was tendentious material he/she left there in the lead. Thanks for moving it.Macroscope7 (talk) 15:22, 23 August 2013 (UTC)