The Shadow of a Great Rock, By Harold Bloom

 

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Still vastly ambitious at 82, the dean of US lit crit tackles "the sublime summit of literature in English".

Created by a largely undistinguished committee, the King James Bible is "an inexplicable wonder", despite a vocabulary of 8,000 words, compared to 21,000 in Shakespeare.

It benefits from a protagonist who, at least in the Old Testament, is "violent, excessive, ill-tempered, unfathomable".

If the OT God is "the great narcissist", Bloom sees Hamlet in King David. Presaging Falstaff, the "vanity of vanities" chapter of Ecclesiastes prompts Bloom's reflection on his decay.

Comments