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Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human

by

Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A landmark achievement as expansive, erudite, and passionate as its renowned author, Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human is the culmination of a lifetime of reading, writing about, and teaching Shakespeare. Preeminent literary critic Harold Bloom leads us through a comprehensive reading of every one of the dramatist's plays, brilliantly illuminating each work with unrivaled warmth, wit and insight. At the same time, Bloom presents one of the boldest theses of Shakespearean scholarships — that Shakespeare not only invented the English language, but also created human nature as we know it today.

Review:

"In some ways the crowning achievement of the controversial Yale critic's career (which has produced The Anxiety of Influence; The Book of J; etc.), this sweeping monograph devotes an essay to each of the plays, emphasizing their originality and their influence on subsequent literature, feeling and thought. The result is a series of brilliant, persuasive, highly idiosyncratic readings punctuated by attacks on current Shakespeare criticism and performance. The ratio of screed to reading is blessedly low; although Bloom has kept his common touch, one feels that he has ceased the play to the peanut gallery that made The Western Canon a cause celebre. The leitmotif of Shakespeare's "invention of the human," i.e., of the changeable, individual human character, is a useful through-line to the essays but never highjacks them as Bloom's critical tropes sometimes do. Other extravagant claims that Shakespeare wrote an early version of Hamlet between 1589 and '93, or that the playwright may have lived in physical terror of his street-tough rival Marlowe may raise eyebrows, but they will not matter to readers who need this book. Those readers fall into two categories: performers and everyone who studies Shakespeare outside the academy. For the latter, Bloom is an ideal cicerone: a passionate, sensitive reader who tempers his irreverent common sense with an even-more-instructive stance of awe. And no critic not even Bloom's masters A.C. Bradley or Harold Goddard writes as well for actors and directors, or understands as clearly the performability of the plays. Indeed, it is a great pity that Bloom has not followed the example of Helen Vendler's recent edition of the sonnets and included a recording of his own recitations." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"The indispensable critic on the indispensable writer." Geoffrey O'Brien, New York Review of Books

Review:

"You don't have to swallow Bloom's argument whole...to value his local insights. The most exhilarating observations...have the quality of aphorisms." James Shapiro, New York Times Book Review

Review:

"It is a huge cloak-bag of ideas, stuffed with true wisdom and false bombast in equal measure. It breaks the rules, but demands to be forgiven because it is alive and full of magnanimity. It is a feast." Wall Street Journal

Review:

"A study that is as passionate as it is erudite, as provocative as it is sometimes perverse....[I]t's hard not to be impressed by his overall knowledge of and insight into his subject's work." Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

Review:

"[E]legantly written, scholarly yet accessible, radiant with Bloom's love for Shakespeare in particular and literature in general." Kirkus Review

Review:

"Bloom...is a master entertainer." Newsweek

Review:

"Should this be the one book you read if you're going to read one book about Shakespeare? Yes." The New York Observer

Review:

"Bloom has given us the crowning achievement of his career...If any piece of literary criticism can have a practical effect — on our stage and imaginations — this is the one." Salon

Synopsis:

"The indispensable critic on the indispensable writer." -Geoffrey O'Brien, New York Review of Books

A landmark achievement as expansive, erudite, and passionate as its renowned author, Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human is the culmination of a lifetime of reading, writing about, and teaching Shakespeare. Preeminent literary critic-and ultimate authority on the western literary tradition-Harold Bloom leads us through a comprehensive reading of every one of the dramatist's plays, brilliantly illuminating each work with unrivaled warmth, wit and insight. At the same time, Bloom presents one of the boldest theses of Shakespearean scholarships: that Shakespeare not only invented the English language, but also created human nature as we know it today.

About the Author

Harold Bloom's many achievments include simultaneously holding teaching positions at two universities as Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale and Berg Professor of English at New York University. He spent sabbaticals teaching at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and at the Universities of Rome and Bologna. A past Charles Eliot Norton Lecturer at Harvard and Flexner Lecturer at Bryn Mawr, Bloom received the Christian Gauss Award for the best book of literary criticism. He is a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and the recipient of many other awards, honorary degrees and prizes. His essays and reviews appear regularly in The New York Times Book Review, the Times Literary Supplement, and other periodicals.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781573227513
Author:
Bloom, Harold
Publisher:
Riverhead Books
Author:
Bloom, Harold, Ed
Subject:
Shakespeare
Subject:
Shakespeare, william, 1564-1616
Subject:
Drama
Subject:
History & Criticism *
Subject:
Appreciation
Subject:
English literature
Subject:
Characters and characteristics in literature
Subject:
Humanism in literature.
Subject:
Drama -- History and criticism.
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
19990931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
768
Dimensions:
9.18x6.15x2.00 in. 2.11 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Drama » History and Criticism
Arts and Entertainment » Drama » Shakespeare » Criticism
Biography » Literary
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General
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Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.50 In Stock
Product details 768 pages Warner Books - English 9781573227513 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In some ways the crowning achievement of the controversial Yale critic's career (which has produced The Anxiety of Influence; The Book of J; etc.), this sweeping monograph devotes an essay to each of the plays, emphasizing their originality and their influence on subsequent literature, feeling and thought. The result is a series of brilliant, persuasive, highly idiosyncratic readings punctuated by attacks on current Shakespeare criticism and performance. The ratio of screed to reading is blessedly low; although Bloom has kept his common touch, one feels that he has ceased the play to the peanut gallery that made The Western Canon a cause celebre. The leitmotif of Shakespeare's "invention of the human," i.e., of the changeable, individual human character, is a useful through-line to the essays but never highjacks them as Bloom's critical tropes sometimes do. Other extravagant claims that Shakespeare wrote an early version of Hamlet between 1589 and '93, or that the playwright may have lived in physical terror of his street-tough rival Marlowe may raise eyebrows, but they will not matter to readers who need this book. Those readers fall into two categories: performers and everyone who studies Shakespeare outside the academy. For the latter, Bloom is an ideal cicerone: a passionate, sensitive reader who tempers his irreverent common sense with an even-more-instructive stance of awe. And no critic not even Bloom's masters A.C. Bradley or Harold Goddard writes as well for actors and directors, or understands as clearly the performability of the plays. Indeed, it is a great pity that Bloom has not followed the example of Helen Vendler's recent edition of the sonnets and included a recording of his own recitations." Publishers Weekly
"Review" by , "The indispensable critic on the indispensable writer."
"Review" by , "You don't have to swallow Bloom's argument whole...to value his local insights. The most exhilarating observations...have the quality of aphorisms."
"Review" by , "It is a huge cloak-bag of ideas, stuffed with true wisdom and false bombast in equal measure. It breaks the rules, but demands to be forgiven because it is alive and full of magnanimity. It is a feast."
"Review" by , "A study that is as passionate as it is erudite, as provocative as it is sometimes perverse....[I]t's hard not to be impressed by his overall knowledge of and insight into his subject's work."
"Review" by , "[E]legantly written, scholarly yet accessible, radiant with Bloom's love for Shakespeare in particular and literature in general."
"Review" by , "Bloom...is a master entertainer."
"Review" by , "Should this be the one book you read if you're going to read one book about Shakespeare? Yes."
"Review" by , "Bloom has given us the crowning achievement of his career...If any piece of literary criticism can have a practical effect — on our stage and imaginations — this is the one."
"Synopsis" by ,
"The indispensable critic on the indispensable writer." -Geoffrey O'Brien, New York Review of Books

A landmark achievement as expansive, erudite, and passionate as its renowned author, Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human is the culmination of a lifetime of reading, writing about, and teaching Shakespeare. Preeminent literary critic-and ultimate authority on the western literary tradition-Harold Bloom leads us through a comprehensive reading of every one of the dramatist's plays, brilliantly illuminating each work with unrivaled warmth, wit and insight. At the same time, Bloom presents one of the boldest theses of Shakespearean scholarships: that Shakespeare not only invented the English language, but also created human nature as we know it today.

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