Friday, May 13, 2011

Romano, Carlin. "Harold Bloom by the Numbers." CHRONICLE REVIEW April 24, 2011.

If you look up "Bloom, Harold" under "author" in the University of Pennsylvania's main library catalog, the computer shoots back 846 entries. Most are his Chelsea House collections of critical essays on authors, each one "edited and with an introduction" by Harold Bloom. Now 80, Yale's longtime Sterling Professor of the Humanities has knocked out volumes on, for starters, A.E. Housman, A.R. Ammons, Agatha Christie, Albert Camus, Aldous Huxley, Alexander Pope, Alexander Pushkin, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Alice Munro, Alice Walker. ...

I'd proceed right through the alphabet—or at least to the letter "B"—but my editor insists that I write some of this essay myself. Those volumes, of course, don't include the collections by Bloom, also "edited and with an introduction," on specific works of literature. He's written about Aeschylus's the Oresteia; Alan Paton's Cry, the Beloved Country; Albert Camus's The Stranger; Aldous Huxley's Brave New World; Alex Haley's The Autobiography of Malcolm X; Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock; Alice Walker's The Color Purple. . . .


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