But I suppose it all depends how you define “spiritual”.For me, the two great figures of Sir John Falstaff and Hamlet – the great sceptic and nihilist in Shakespeare – offer me spiritual entities of the most intense kind. I like to say, “There is no god but god and his name is William Shakespeare.” Do you individuate from your precursors in your own work? I regard ER Dodds, whom I knew personally, as a strong precursor.By his choice, he made it the vehicle for poets who come after him, Boccaccio and Petrarch down through Leopardi and Ungaretti.Tags: Frankenstein Essay Science FictionAustralian Rules 2002 EssayEssay Starters SpanishSteam Engine EssayThesis Statement Great Expectations Charles DickensMba Essays Made Easy
The author of more than 40 books, Harold Bloom is Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale, where he has been teaching since earning his doctorate in 1955.
The theory of literary evolution he developed in his 1973 book How has the profession changed since you began teaching literature?
I never met Ernst Robert Curtius, but we corresponded and I regard him as a forerunner.
And then the author of the third book was my own marvellous teacher. I was a Cornell freshman of 17 when I met Meyer Howard Abrams, MH Abrams, who to this day is my dear friend Mike.
The later work overturns an earlier work in order to get free of it.
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The new poem, new story, new drama or new novel is a creative misreading of the work that engendered it. This is, I think, the finest work of literary scholarship in my time, by the great German philologist Ernst Robert Curtius.I prefer Curtius on Dante to the discussion of Dante by any other critic, because he sees that Dante is creating a myth, or even a gnosis, of his own.Ultimately, Aristotle, Augustine and Aquinas are nowhere near as important as Dante.But at 81, one doesn’t know how much time there is, and there are other things I’m writing and want to write.The theory of literary evolution I developed (which is refined, broadened and made more understandable to the common reader in ) is that literary inheritance, literary genealogy – the cavalcade that takes us from one writer to another, throughout the ages right down to the present moment – is by no means linear. I use the Shakespearean term “misprision”, which is a kind of deliberate creativeness.You asked me to list five books that continue to influence the profession.But, as I made clear to you, I’m not interested in that any more.I became a professor of the humanities, a department of one.I have been the pariah of the profession for the last 45 years.I’m interested in the books that have influenced me and will go on influencing me – as I work and teach and write – until I die.Those books include , which still has an ongoing influence on me, particularly in my study of Yeats, Hart Crane and other great poets. I like to say, ‘There is no God but God and his name is William Shakespeare.’” was a concept, as Dodds makes beautifully clear, having to do with the creative forces in the individual, which are deeper and more pervasive than what you might want to call the mere conscious.