rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
[personal profile] rymenhild
Oh dear, Harold Bloom is on his soapbox again. This is never a good thing. (Italicized passages are quotations from Bloom's Wall Street Journal article on Hans Christian Andersen. If you click, you might discover that Bloom has two different spellings for "Andersen". You might also find smoke coming out of your ears. Be warned.)

I myself see no distinction between children's literature and good or great writing for extremely intelligent children of all ages.

So far, so good.

J.K. Rowling and Stephen King are equally bad writers, appropriate titans of our new Dark Age of the Screens: computer, motion pictures, TV.

...I admit that there are many better writers out there in the universe than J.K. Rowling, but Professor Bloom, sir, does the phrase "Dark Tower" mean anything to you?

Outside of Browning and Shakespeare, that is?

Also, Dark Age of the Screens? Professor Bloom, I sit at the computer for hours to read Middle English poetry. I am sure you would not be quite so pleased by some of the other things I read when I sit at the computer for hours, but really, now! Think of the vast quantity of text we are lucky enough to have in this century. Certainly, not all of it is high-quality. Nevertheless, there is quantitatively more high-quality literature, film and drama available today to the average person than there ever was in any other time in the history of the world. Much of this literature, film and drama appears on the Internet. I can't imagine what you mean by "Dark Age."

One goes on urging children of all ages to read and reread Andersen and Dickens, Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear, rather than Ms. Rowling and Mr. King. Sometimes when I say that in public I am asked: Is it not better to read Ms. Rowling and Mr. King, and then go on to Andersen, Dickens, Carroll and Lear? The answer is pragmatic: Our time here is limited. You necessarily read and reread at the expense of other books.

I have read works by Andersen, Dickens, Carroll, Lear, Rowling and King. All but Carroll and Lear I have read in the last two years. I do not feel that I have sacrificed precious Dickens reading time by devouring all seven Dark Tower novels within a month.

That said, I have sacrificed a precious ten minutes of my life reading your appreciation of Hans Christian Andersen today. Our time here on Earth is too limited to waste it on an article containing a few ill-conceived rants about popular entertainment and quite a long discussion of Andersen's sex life. With comparisons to Michael Jackson, G-d help us.

Thank you, Professor Bloom.

(no subject)

Date: 2005-05-01 07:47 pm (UTC)
agonistes: a house in the shadow of two silos shaped like gramophone bells (nineteen)
From: [personal profile] agonistes
J.K. Rowling and Stephen King are equally bad writers, appropriate titans of our new Dark Age of the Screens: computer, motion pictures, TV.

...I admit that there are many better writers out there in the universe than J.K. Rowling, but Professor Bloom, sir, does the phrase "Dark Tower" mean anything to you?

Outside of Browning and Shakespeare, that is?


I love you.

No, really. This made me cackle.

See...I wonder if Harold Bloom has bothered reading anything King has written post-The Green Mile. I really do. Somehow I doubt it.

And I'd like to see what Bloom thinks about other highly allusive writers like Dorothy Sayers. As far as I'm concerned the only real difference between them is time period, and that King doesn't write about aristocracy.

Also? If I recall, Dickens was a wildly popular novelist in his day, and critics really weren't fans. And I'd like to see Harold Bloom and Terry Eagleton get in a fight.

That is all. :D

(no subject)

Date: 2005-05-01 09:08 pm (UTC)
ext_27060: Sumer is icomen in; llude sing cucu! (lemony snicket by cannons_fan)
From: [identity profile] rymenhild.livejournal.com
In one corner, EAGLETON, the Marxist Defender of Theory (1). Opposite him, BLOOM, the Self-Imposed Arbiter of Literature. Who will win? I would bet on Eagleton, for the simple reason that Eagleton probably has an Oxbridge accent.

(1) So long as the theory's more than thirty years old, that is.

Sayers is highly underappreciated, so I suspect Bloom wouldn't appreciate her. Gaudy Night and The Nine Tailors ought to be on college reading lists; I don't actually know why they're not. (I just had the mental vision of a course on Gender in Early Twentieth-Century Representations of Academia. The students would read A Room of One's Own (1929) next to Gaudy Night (1936). Wouldn't it be beautiful?) Digression aside, Sayers writes mysteries. Mysteries are genre fiction. Genre fiction is... never mind, won't finish that sentence, too much smoke emerging from ears.

(no subject)

Date: 2005-05-01 07:50 pm (UTC)
ext_36698: Red-haired woman with flare, fantasy-art style, labeled "Ayelle" (Default)
From: [identity profile] ayelle.livejournal.com
I stopped paying attention to Bloom once I realized that he was entirely unaware of the works of 95% of all children's authors postdating 1920. Even if you accept his premise that a diet consisting exclusively of books written with sublimely beautiful prose is the only way to prevent dangerous and permanent brain-rot, which I don't, he simply has not the slightest grounds by which to judge any children's literature because he knows so little about the field.

Ahem. Well, that was my soapbox...

(no subject)

Date: 2005-05-01 07:53 pm (UTC)
ext_36698: Red-haired woman with flare, fantasy-art style, labeled "Ayelle" (night)
From: [identity profile] ayelle.livejournal.com
Also, what does he think the non-extremely-intelligent children ought to be reading? Elitist crap. I despise this guy.

(no subject)

Date: 2005-05-01 09:14 pm (UTC)
ext_27060: Sumer is icomen in; llude sing cucu! (Default)
From: [identity profile] rymenhild.livejournal.com
I agree with you on all counts. Why can't the man just talk about Shakespeare and stay out of That Which He Does Not Know?

(no subject)

Date: 2005-05-01 08:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cryptoquip.livejournal.com
We did a unit on Andersen in my Word and Image class last year...let us remember, before elevating him to too high a pedestal, that the three things he drew most frequently were towers, grottoes, and volcanic eruptions. I kid you not.

He was also apparently quite a whiney bastard.

(no subject)

Date: 2005-05-01 08:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elettaria.livejournal.com
Sexist git as well, wasn't he?

(no subject)

Date: 2005-05-01 09:15 pm (UTC)
ext_27060: Sumer is icomen in; llude sing cucu! (lemony snicket by cannons_fan)
From: [identity profile] rymenhild.livejournal.com
I certainly wouldn't want to be friends with Andersen myself. That said, I don't know what great writers I would want to be friends with.

...Sayers, perhaps.

(no subject)

Date: 2005-05-02 12:55 am (UTC)
ext_36698: Red-haired woman with flare, fantasy-art style, labeled "Ayelle" (Default)
From: [identity profile] ayelle.livejournal.com
This should be a meme.

(no subject)

Date: 2005-05-02 07:00 am (UTC)
ext_27060: Sumer is icomen in; llude sing cucu! (Default)
From: [identity profile] rymenhild.livejournal.com
Yes, it should, shouldn't it?

(no subject)

Date: 2005-05-01 09:28 pm (UTC)
ext_27060: Sumer is icomen in; llude sing cucu! (Default)
From: [identity profile] rymenhild.livejournal.com
Yes, and what is up with those red shoes?

(no subject)

Date: 2005-05-01 08:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] obopolsk.livejournal.com
Wow, that's infuriating. But your response made me laugh. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2005-05-01 09:23 pm (UTC)
ext_27060: Sumer is icomen in; llude sing cucu! (lemony snicket by cannons_fan)
From: [identity profile] rymenhild.livejournal.com
Glad to amuse you. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2005-05-01 10:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yuki-onna.livejournal.com
Well, I hated DT, but I'll admit to enjoying SK when I was a kid.

(no subject)

Date: 2005-05-01 10:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yuki-onna.livejournal.com
Though it does seem odd to imply that King is a children's writer.

(no subject)

Date: 2005-05-01 10:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yuki-onna.livejournal.com
*has now read article*

But...but...this article is about Andersen. It's practically a love letter. So there are a few digs at modern writers. It wouldn't be Bloom if there weren't. But Andersen deserves love letters, and as someone whose family is distantly related to his, I can't fault devotion to old Uncle Hans.

(no subject)

Date: 2005-05-01 10:32 pm (UTC)
ext_27060: Sumer is icomen in; llude sing cucu! (Default)
From: [identity profile] rymenhild.livejournal.com
I can't either. That said, my major argument with the article is that it doesn't spend enough time and thought on Andersen's writing itself, as distinct from other authors' writings and from Andersen's life.

(no subject)

Date: 2005-05-02 02:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lynnoxford.livejournal.com
I think I was done with Bloom the day I read his Yeats book- to say that Yeats is a bad poet because Yeats doesn't write like Shelley is, well, let's call it "unproductive."

(no subject)

Date: 2005-05-02 03:06 am (UTC)
ext_27060: Sumer is icomen in; llude sing cucu! (Default)
From: [identity profile] rymenhild.livejournal.com
Watch Rymenhild's jaw fall off.

Did Bloom really say that?!

(no subject)

Date: 2005-05-02 04:26 pm (UTC)
silveraspen: silver trees against a blue sky background (poetry books by saphyria)
From: [personal profile] silveraspen
...

Excuse me while I pick myself up off the floor. You're kidding, right? Right? Please?

Dear heaven, what idiocy.

(no subject)

Date: 2005-05-02 07:15 pm (UTC)
ext_27060: Sumer is icomen in; llude sing cucu! (Default)
From: [identity profile] rymenhild.livejournal.com
I don't know, I really thought Harold Bloom would like Yeats. After all, Yeats is a dead white man who used rhyme and meter in his poetry.

(no subject)

Date: 2005-05-03 02:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lynnoxford.livejournal.com
Yes, but he didn't use them as effectively as Shelley, apparently. Sad to say that my summary is only a bit reductive of a big chunk of Bloom's analysis. Blah.

(no subject)

Date: 2005-05-02 03:48 am (UTC)
sovay: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sovay
I'm not responsible for him! I don't even take classes in the English Department!

*flees to hide among the comforting cuneiform of the Babylonian Collection*

(no subject)

Date: 2005-05-02 05:18 am (UTC)
ext_27060: Sumer is icomen in; llude sing cucu! (Default)
From: [identity profile] rymenhild.livejournal.com
I didn't blame you. Does he teach any more anyhow?

(no subject)

Date: 2005-05-02 06:17 am (UTC)
sovay: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sovay
I think he must; there's a young man in one of my classes who cites him like the [insert holy book of your choice here]. Either that or his influence extends beyond the classroom . . .

(no subject)

Date: 2005-05-02 06:17 am (UTC)
sovay: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sovay
(I did not think you had blamed me, by the way. I just felt guilty by academic association. I think I'm genetically predisposed to it.)

(no subject)

Date: 2005-05-02 04:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fleurdelis28.livejournal.com
Roger Ebert's review of the new Hitchhiker movie, while otherwise unremarkable, describes the Vogons as "an alien race that looks like a cross between Jabba the Hutt and Harold Bloom. The Vogons are not a cruel race, apart from the fact that they insist on reading their poetry, which is so bad it has driven people to catatonia." I'm not sure whether that's totally in line with Hitchhiker cannon, and I don't even know what Bloom looks like. But it made me laugh pretty hard.

(no subject)

Date: 2005-05-02 04:03 pm (UTC)
ext_27060: Sumer is icomen in; llude sing cucu! (Default)
From: [identity profile] rymenhild.livejournal.com
Google Images is a wonderful thing, if you happen to want large numbers of pictures about one fairly ugly self-identified public intellectual. I do like the idea of Bloomian freddled gruntbugglies.

(no subject)

Date: 2005-05-02 04:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fleurdelis28.livejournal.com
Oh hey, there really IS a resemblance...

Profile

rymenhild: Manuscript page from British Library MS Harley 913 (Default)
rymenhild

January 2017

S M T W T F S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031    

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags