Possessed by Memory by Harold Bloom audiobook

Possessed by Memory: The Inward Light of Criticism

By Harold Bloom
Read by Stephen Mendel

Random House Audio
16.76 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
  • $27.50
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    ISBN: 9781984840431

In arguably his most personal and lasting book, America's most daringly original and controversial critic gives us brief, luminous readings of more than eighty texts by canonical authors-- texts he has had by heart since childhood. Gone are the polemics. Here, instead, in a memoir of sorts--an inward journey from childhood to ninety--Bloom argues elegiacally with nobody but Bloom, interested only in the influence of the mind upon itself when it absorbs the highest and most enduring imaginative literature. He offers more than eighty meditations on poems and prose that have haunted him since childhood and which he has possessed by memory: from the Psalms and Ecclesiastes to Shakespeare and Dr. Johnson; Spenser and Milton to Wordsworth and Keats; Whitman and Browning to Joyce and Proust; Tolstoy and Yeats to Delmore Schwartz and Amy Clampitt; Blake to Wallace Stevens--and so much more. And though he has written before about some of these authors, these exegeses, written in the winter of his life, are movingly informed by "the freshness of last things." As Bloom writes movingly: "One of my concerns throughout Possessed by Memoryis with the beloved dead. Most of my good friends in my generation have departed. Their voices are still in my ears. I find that they are woven into what I read. I listen not only for their voices but also for the voice I heard before the world was made. My other concern is religious, in the widest sense. For me poetry and spirituality fuse as a single entity. All my long life I have sought to isolate poetic knowledge. This also involves a knowledge of God and gods. I see imaginative literature as a kind of theurgy in which the divine is summoned, maintained, and augmented." Includes a PDF diagram from the book.

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Summary

Summary

Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

In arguably his most personal and lasting book, America's most daringly original and controversial critic gives us brief, luminous readings of more than eighty texts by canonical authors-- texts he has had by heart since childhood.

Gone are the polemics. Here, instead, in a memoir of sorts--an inward journey from childhood to ninety--Bloom argues elegiacally with nobody but Bloom, interested only in the influence of the mind upon itself when it absorbs the highest and most enduring imaginative literature. He offers more than eighty meditations on poems and prose that have haunted him since childhood and which he has possessed by memory: from the Psalms and Ecclesiastes to Shakespeare and Dr. Johnson; Spenser and Milton to Wordsworth and Keats; Whitman and Browning to Joyce and Proust; Tolstoy and Yeats to Delmore Schwartz and Amy Clampitt; Blake to Wallace Stevens--and so much more. And though he has written before about some of these authors, these exegeses, written in the winter of his life, are movingly informed by "the freshness of last things."

As Bloom writes movingly: "One of my concerns throughout Possessed by Memoryis with the beloved dead. Most of my good friends in my generation have departed. Their voices are still in my ears. I find that they are woven into what I read. I listen not only for their voices but also for the voice I heard before the world was made. My other concern is religious, in the widest sense. For me poetry and spirituality fuse as a single entity. All my long life I have sought to isolate poetic knowledge. This also involves a knowledge of God and gods. I see imaginative literature as a kind of theurgy in which the divine is summoned, maintained, and augmented."

Includes a PDF diagram from the book.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

These essays reveal a deeply personal attachment and fresh perspective. An eloquent and erudite rereading of the author's beloved works. Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"A rich lifetime of readership and scholarship can be found within the covers of this equally rich book. Publishers Weekly
Our era’s Samuel Johnson...Possessed by Memory really is a kind of valediction... Bloom has loved literature deeply—and that love is, even in the face of death, a life-giving force. Commonweal Magazine 
"The great critic revisits the literature that has meant most to him. The New York Times
Describe is what he does, perhaps more brilliantly than anyone else alive. Esquire 
“Stephen Mendel is an especially effective narrator—energetic, strong paced, sensitive to poetic rhythm, and nuance, yet free of accent and affect…Read with simple grace and clarity, these great poems come together with an immediacy and naturalism rarely found in audiobook readings of the classics. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.” AudioFile

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Harold Bloom

Author Bio: Harold Bloom

Harold Bloom was Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University and Berg Professor of English at New York University. The author of twenty books and the editor of many more, he has been a MacArthur Prize Fellow, a past Charles Eliot Norton Professor at Harvard University, a member of the American Academy, and the recipient of many other awards, honorary degrees, and prizes.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Nonfiction/Biography
Runtime: 16.76
Audience: Adult
Language: English