kindle Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human –

Nessa Obra, O Autor Analisa Uma A Uma As Pe As De Shakespeare, Revelando A Incontest Vel Riqueza De Seu Mundo Criativo Segundo Bloom, A Bardolatria, A Devo O A Shakespeare, Deveria Tornar Se Uma Religi O Secular Mais Do Que J O Isto Porque, Atrav S De Sua Obra, Shakespeare N O Apenas Representou, Mas Efetivamente Inventou O Homem A Capacidade De Evolu O Por Uma Rela O Consigo Mesmo, E N O Com Deus Ou Deuses, A Habilidade Em Mergulhar Na Dif Cil E Desafiadora Viagem Do Autoconhecimento Pela Reflex O T M In Cio Na Obra De Shakespeare Justamente Por Isso Que Harold Bloom O Identifica Como O Inventor Do Humano A Genialidade De Shakespeare Vem Desafiando Estudiosos Ao Longo Dos Anos Um Talento Inigual Vel Que O Levou A Criar Rei Lear, Macbeth E Ant Nio E Cle Patra Em Pouco Mais De Um Ano Uma Capacidade Inquietante De Atravessar Os Obscuros Labirintos Da Mente Humana, Desnudando Paix Es, Iluminando Desejos, Apontando Os Grandes Fantasmas Que Perseguem O Homem Desde Sempre Nesta An Lise Profunda E Detalhada De Cada Uma Das Pe As De Shakespeare, Bloom Discute Antigas Quest Es E Apresenta Novas Perspectivas Do Universo Do Maior Dramaturgo De Todos Os Tempos

10 thoughts on “Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human

  1. says:

    I probably should try to like Harold Bloom better, since he seems to bring people to Shakespeare who wouldn t normally read him But I just can t.I have to say I found this book one of the silliest things I ve ever read Bloom s suppositions that Shakespeare invented the human personality are just ludicrous Mostly, I think he gets away with some of his grandiose theorems because he s either preaching to the choir or to those not informed enough to know better But really, people didn t self reflect prior to Shakespeare There wasn t self talk No wit One only has to read the letters written by Roman soldiers in Britian to their families, to see how absolutely unchanging the basic personalities of human beings are Or read ancient Indian philosophers to learn about the capabilities of those who came before Shakespeare to self reflect And the idea that wit didn t exist before Falstaff, well that just plain crazy.I love Shakespeare, but Bloom is like the crazy teen aged lover who thinks his girlfriend has the beauty to rival Helen, brains to match Einstein and the sex appeal of the greatest screen goddesses A dose of reality and logic would benefit the book a great deal.Bloom doesn t seem to recognize Shakespeare as the rather savvy business man that he was He doesn t understand anything of the practicalities of performance or audience, two things that Shakespeare never could have forgotten I guarantee you, no play works if the audience doesn t recognize themselves in the characters self talking, self reflective, witty buggers they must have been.

  2. says:

    I dimly remember when this book came out 1998 how big and important and controversial it was supposed to be Given Harold Bloom s prodigious reputation, I was afraid of the thing, and so avoided it, figuring it to be fraught with lit theory of the densest sort A couple years ago I found a copy dirt cheap at some thrift store or another and its fat binding has glowered at me from the shelves since A few weeks ago I decided to give it a try and found it to be a piece o cake, mostly To be fair about it, I am somewhat prejudiced against Bloom There was always something of the legacy monger about him, as follows Once upon a time, an ambitious non creative man of letters established himself in the literary firmament with a vast and complicated body of theory, the anxiety of influence, a quasi Freudian concept whereby writers are primarily motivated by a frantic, anxious desire to overcome their elders no doubt I am grossly oversimplifying a theory of terrifying complexity I spent about seven minutes with the book in question about fifteen years ago, so I do not know much about it This theory was elaborated from the late 1950s to the early 1970s, when a Freudian reading of literature was pretty much ala mode in American letters By the 1970s, his anxiety of influence theory had made Bloom s reputation, and Bloom probably thought he had the culture by the balls But as it turns out, by the 1980s, the French and the feminists and the post structuralists were deconstructing and whatnot while Freud became increasingly debunked Bloom had secured Ivy League tenure by then, but intellectually he d backed the wrong horse his Freudian reading of literature had about as much relevance as phrenology Bloom s anxiety of influence had become part of the academic mold from whence sprang far fresher toadstools of theory Or, to wax Shakespearian, the anxiety of influence is but one of lit crit s whoreson dead bodies in the academic graveyard, fit only to be mocked by a clown like me.Which brings us to Bloom s sea change apparently realizing the sterility of a purely academic approach to literature, coupled with the fact his own theory mongering was no longer of much importance, Bloom decided to try and turn himself into a real man of letters And to his credit, Bloom resisted the siren wail of the theorists, what he calls The School of Resentment And yet I find his later man o letters manifestations to be suspect For one thing, in order to stay intellectually spooky, he refers to himself as a Jewish Gnostic according to Wikipedia I thought this was a little sad, sort of like those Loonie Toons episodes where we see Wile E Coyote s mailbox with GENIUS scrawled across it Bloom s gnosticism gained him some fans, and he even wrote a sci fi novel along Gnostic lines again, Wikipedia I had no idea As Robert Frost said, one should never refer to oneself as a poet, just as you would never call yourself a hero Other people can call you poet or hero, but never call yourself those things Perhaps Gnostic should be added to the list And yet Harold Bloom is the gnostic professor who came in from the cold it seems Bloom craved a broad, cultural relevance My guess is that the other Bloom Allan and his c 1987 astonishing success with Closing of the American Mind goaded H Bloom into engaging directly with America s pocky corse of a decaying culture His first descent from the skyey firmament academia was his book The Western Canon and its controversial list of what books are worth bothering with A few years later came this book, which tells us how important Shakespeare is in a startling new and exciting way Now of course Shakespeare has been picked over than any writer in existence, so Bloom had to come up with an angle And so Shakespeare is now not only the greatest writer of all time, or even the most remarkable all round genius, he also actually invented the human Thus the kerfluffles and the tiny furrowed brows of woe that descended upon the culture back in 1998 Now on to the book First off, as far as it goes, the title of the book is indeed controversial to state any writer or anybody at all invented the human still strikes me as preposterous As for this being a theory coherently developed by Harold Bloom, Shakespeare s invention of the human consists almost entirely of Harold Bloom telling us, again and again, that, well, Shakespeare invented the human This passage, from the Othello section, is pretty much how it goes, over and over and over A C Bradley, an admirable critic always, named Falstaff, Hamlet, Iago, and Cleopatra as Shakespeare s most wonderful characters If I could add Rosalind and Macbeth to make a sixfold wonder, then I would agree with Bradley, for these are Shakespeare s greatest inventions, and all of them take human nature to some of its limits, without violating these limits Falstaff s wit, Hamlet s ambivalent yet charismatic intensity, Cleopatra s mobility of spirit find their rivals in Macbeth s proleptic imagination, Rosalind s control of all perspectives, and Iago s genius for improvisation p 439 There it is, most of the Falstaffian bulk of this book, bounded in a nutshell at least the theoretical part, if this can be called a theory to suggest Shakespeare took human nature to some of its limits is hardly controversial or much beyond a bright eighth grader s book report on Macbeth What I thought the book was going to be an elaborate lit crit exercise in proof mongering is little than this kind of tub thumping Throughout the book you ll find variations of this passage the recitation of the sixfold wonder and sketchily supported claims of human nature to its limits A C Bradley is frequently invoked with approval, as is Dr Johnson, Nietzsche and William Hazlett But T S Eliot and G B Shaw coming in for periodic drubbings To say Shakespeare invented the human makes him paradoxically less than human It reminds me of those people who say Hitler was a monster Adolph Hitler was not a monster, he was a human being, which makes him all that much worse William Shakespeare was a human being with serious sexual jealousy issues and a real genius for language that developed over the course of his career which makes him all that much human Throughout the book are frequent references Bloom s anxiety of influence, although he never quite calls it that But little reminders of this Bloomsian anxiety are salted throughout the text you ll nose them as you go through the book whenever you encounter the adjective Marlovean, which refers to Shakespeare s anxiety and terror of Christopher Marlowe s reputation it is only until Shakespeare throws off Marlowe s influence around the time of Romeo and Juliet or the Henry IV s that Shakespeare truly becomes Shakespeare, so we re told, again and again Although spends considerable time, in fits and starts, on this Marlovean theme, it never really goes anywhere It s as if Bloom wants to keep a claim staked for his earliest theoretical works without drawing too much attention to its rather creaky claims of Freudian relevance To further distance himself from his roots, every fifty pages or so he ungraciously mentions Sigmund Freud with arch disapproval Sometimes Bloom s academic roots show decades of theory mongering has seemingly warped his prose When he tries to write like a man o letters, his prose is far too pedestrian, while his academic stuff is too academic To illustrate, here is an academic bit from his Richard II discussion Shakespeare did not invent the dignity of men and women, despite Renaissance enhancements, some of them Hermetic, that vision had developed across millennia But aesthetic dignity, though not itself a Shakespearean phrase, is certainly as Shakespearean invention, as it the double nature of such dignity It either coheres with human dignity, or survives isolated when the greater dignity is lost p 269 An example of Renaissance enhancements would be helpful, Hermetic or otherwise We are told Shakespeare invented the human, but not human dignity, which has a double nature of some sort Perhaps something profound is being said here, but I ll be buggered if I can figure it out We are knock d about the mazzard with a sexton s spade of abstraction, but not provided with enough to incorporate it into the rest of the discussion You might notice in the passage above, the word proleptic, which is one of Bloom s favorites, and it is used, especially in the King Lear section, with alarming, almost Tourette s Syndromesque, frequency Proleptic means either the representation or assumption of a future act or development as being presently existing or accomplished or a figure by which by which objections are anticipated in order to weaken their force, or a conception or belief derived from sense perception and therefore regarded as not necessarily true There are a couple other definitions as well I never was able to tell just which one Bloom had in mind and grew weary, finally, of trying to figure it out The book is riddled with such theoretical dry rot and proleptic verbal tics When he is not formulating academic abstractions, Bloom awkwardly stoops And so in the stuff he tries to conjure up for us middlebrows, Bloom will toss off stuff like this Johnson was massively right something inhibited Shakespeare p 115 Here s another random example, which I found after exactly four seconds of randomly searching for a good example Critics regularly have called Sir John one of the lords of language, which beggars him he is the veritable monarch of language, unmatched whether elsewhere in Shakespeare or in all of Western literature His superbly supple and copious prose is astonishingly attractive p 294 What serious critic in the past 40 years would call anyone a lord of language This is just silly, and it demonstrates how Bloom always has to have an adversary, and the book is loaded with this kind of huffing and puffing against his dimwitted, often unnamed and perhaps imaginary, adversaries Then there is the Bloomsian hyperbole I mean, heck, somebody somewhere might suggest James Joyce or Goethe are veritable monarchs of language Or are they merely lords of language This isn t literary criticism so much as it is rhetorical afflatus masquerading as criticism and far too much of the book is made up of the stuff As for supple and copious prose I sort of understand the supple bit, but copious is hardly a virtue This is blurb writing, and Shakespeare doesn t need any blurbs these days It s the kind of slack crap found in my Goodreads reviews Hardly fit stuff for an actual work of criticism from a real critic Along the same lines, Bloom s traumatic theatrical experiences are given a lot of space in this book He tells us again and again how crushed he is by the thousands of Shakespearean stagings he has seen over the past 60 years apparently Ralph Richardson s Falstaff is the only competent Bard on the Boards he has ever seen As for movie versions, forget it he hates em all, pretty much Nowadays, even on stage, Shakespeare is acted and directed so poorly that, alas, Bloom finds it best just to read em on the page Again and again he tells us this It is, after all, a very fat book Bloom has a few Shakespearean quirks which tend to undermine his authority He seems to be one of the few people who believe Shakespeare actually wrote the third rate A Funeral Elegy for Master William Peter, the authorship of which was supposedly proven by linguistic forensic scientist Donald Foster who apparantly has since rejected his own findings Bloom also thinks Cormac McCarthy s character Judge Holden from Blood Meridian is the only literary character as terrifying as Iago See my review of Blood Meridian for what I think of that particular bit of nonsense The theoretical Old Testament writer J is constantly brought forth as one of Shakespeare s few fellow geniuses, this J being, of course, the basis of one of Bloom s books gotta keep that legacy out there so nobody forgets Bloom also believes that the mysterious Ur Hamlet was actually written by Shakespeare rather than some hack such as Thomas Kyd it might perhaps even be Shakespeare s very first play, a failure which he rewrote successfully, I might add some years later Actually, I find this theory kind of compelling, although as with so many other things in this book, Bloom merely asserts it over and over again rather than trying really to prove it I am happy to report Bloom doesn t think the Earl of Oxford really wrote the plays Far annoying are those times Bloom insists on telling us how much he suffers for his appreciation of Shakespeare, and how he is assailed by a sea of knuckleheads As perhaps the last High Romantic Bardolator p 79 he ll say, referring to his beleaguered self, the term Bardolator and Bardolatry apparently having once struck him as screamingly clever Here is one that will make you throw up in your mouth a little bit As Bloom Brontosaurus Bardolater, an archaic survival among Shakespearean critics, I do not hesitate to find an immense personal bitterness in Timon of Athens p 589 These bardolator claims struck me as sad, pathetic attempts to establish a legacy for himself as the last of the humanists Can you imagine Lionel Trilling making such claims For all of Bloom s agonies over our debased culture, his own ostensibly high culture book too often descends to this kind of cheap self satisfaction and advertising Shakespeare and the Invention of the Human, despite the bombast of its title, is primarily one of those old fashioned readers guides to the Bard that used to get issued from the eggheads at the university for the vast Time magazine reading middlebrows who once belonged to the Book of the Month Club It just so happens I came across a copy of one such effort, Shakespeare by Mark Van Doren 1939, in a c 1950s Doubleday Anchor paperback reprint which is pretty much doing the same thing Bloom is, with economy As one of the Last of the Muddled Middlebrows that s my legacy , I appreciate the effort I love Shakespeare, but often find myself lost or baffled by the language and those awful overly elaborate plots And so I unapologetically read footnotes, cribs, guides, etc Just out of curiosity, I read Bloom on As You Like It, then I reread the play itself, then I read Van Doren s take Both were competent guides to the overall action and themes of the play To be sure, Bloom is windier pp 202 225 than Van Doren pp 127 135 Van Doren had, I thought, penetrating things to say about Touchstone Bloom seemed to me rather incoherent on the clown Van Doren s prose is old fashioned and florid making it an unlikely candidate for a reissue , but Bloom s regular guy approach is awkward, often pointlessly prolix when not obfuscated by habitual academic abstractions and blatant advertisements for his own brilliance And yet By the time I got to the end of the book, despite its flaws, I had warmed up to it considerably For all his self aggrandizement and academic harrumphing, Bloom s book does have its virtues If nothing else, Bloom s quotes from other sources are generally quite interesting and to the point I especially admired the Hazlett, Dr Johnson, and Nietzsche quotes I did not realize Nietzsche took such notice of Shakespeare To some extent these quotes unintentionally show up the banality of Bloom s prose, but I am glad for my own edification Bloom included them Bloom s love of Shakespeare, despite the fact he feels compelled to explain it to us okay, okay, you are a Bardolator , is obviously genuine Bloom is a smart guy who has spent a lot of time with Shakespeare, and much of the book is a competent reader s guide with a fair amount of competent historical and biographical backgrounding There are a couple of plays that I either never read or particularly cared for on stage that Bloom changed my mind about Richard II and Midsummer Night s Dream in particular His take on the late plays Corolianus and Winter s Tale etc are sympathetic and convincing the last sections of the book are less bombastic than the earlier bits Still, I wish Bloom were a better writer For all its Falstaffian bulk, this is a fairly light book and it made me pine for Jarrell, Frank Kermode, Eliot, Trilling and other pre theory critics of the not so distant past These guys knew how to write Which is to say that perhaps the most damning thing I can say about it is that I never once felt compelled to single out and save any of Bloom s passages Some of his ideas were worth a folded down corner, and some of the works he quotes, but nothing he actually composed rose to the level of the quotable My copies of Eliot s The Lives of the Poets and all of Jarrell s books of criticism, and Trilling s The Liberal Imagination are dogeared and underlined a lot I think this was supposed to be canonical, or at least the anchor to some future folio called The Workes of Harold Bloome, Agnostick Doctor, and although it had potential for such status, given Bloom s mind and his love for Shakespeare, it doesn t make it It is too hasty, too repetitive, too herky jerky in its academic vs middelbrow aims To some extent, Bloom makes the same basic mistake Clive James made with his Cultural Amnesia which I reviewed for GoodReads he wants to complain about our culture and its declining standards, and yet he does it in a sketchy, poorly written fashion that leads the reader to wonder if Bloom and James are part of the problem rather than staunch defenders of the faith during the sad dissolution of Western Civ A few stray thoughts on the book s overall organization and appearance although the bulk of it is organized in a very straightforward play by play manner, on either end there are four separate bits of editorial Bloom a To the Reader and Shakespeare s Universalism at the front, then, after hundreds of pages of play by play discussion, two pieces, Coda the Shakespearean Difference and A Word at the End Foregrounding Why didn t Bloom just compose a single large piece on his approach Beats me, but the way it is here, he s like a guy on the telephone who can t quite hang up It also gave me the impression that this book was, like Gertrude s wedding, o er hasty Further, the fact Shakespeare and the Invention of the Human lacks an index is inexcusable given its author s pretensions The jacket illustration is Michaelangelo s Delphic Sibyl for reasons I cannot fathom Renaissance Hermeticism Finally, I hated the resolutely non Renaissance san serif type, which I found hard to read I can t tell you what exactly it is because books don t carry those little dabs of font information any, apparently Buttefucco Bold is based on a late 15th century Renaissance font designed by Josephus Buttefucco for a folio edition of Virgil Whatever it is, it sucks Some fifteen years later, is Shakespeare and the Invention of the Human still an important work Maybe Kinda But probably nah Which means, I guess, that Harold Bloom should still be anxious.

  3. says:

    Brilliant, infuriating, dazzling, provocative, maddening, thrilling and explosive This book is not wonderful because Bloom is always right but because he always excites and challenges Always Page after page after page he brashly, almost recklessly tosses out hypotheses, makes thundering assertions as though they just came down from Mount Sinai, dismisses entire populations of artists, assumes fantastic responsibilities in society not just for the artist but for the critic and generally makes a nuisance of himself He s fantastic You can disagree with him but you d better bring your A game because he will be He forces you to specifically delineate to yourself why you think what you think His passion for art is palpable, intoxicating He assigns to it an extraordinary, spiritual place in the human condition In his view Shakespeare is nothing less than the Moses of a new testament, using poetry and theatre to re create us in his own image Bloom s mind, warped by his ego and intransigence is nonetheless exhilarating If you love art, ideas, discussion, debate, etc., read this book You ll be up all night arguing with this guy.

  4. says:

    I think I like Harold Bloom even now that you re not supposed to like him because he s a snob misogynist old white guy whatever the reason is you re not supposed to like him, but this was the first book of literary theory I ever read I was 15 , so it holds a special place in my brainheart.It also holds a special place in my brainheart because Bloom is pretty much right on about everything he s saying in regards to Shahkespeare s invention of modern personality, and because he unabashedly plays favorites with the characters as though he knew them personally The book reads like a long, deeply enjoyable uninterrupted conversation your irascible old genius grandfather and then you pretty much HAVE to play the Which Shakespeare Character Would I You All Our Friends Be game, which is awesome.

  5. says:

    Yes, I m going to read Harold Bloom s book putting forth the preposterous notion that humanity didn t exist before Shakespeare Haters gonna hate What, jealous

  6. says:

    I must humbly confess that I had to stop halfway this heavy slumber driven brick book In the end, I am not totally sure whether or not Shakespeare did invent the human as the title grandiosely seems to claim However, I am quite sure that, with a few lines, like those spoken by Holofernes in Love s labour s lost , he did invent Harold Bloom.

  7. says:

    The subtitle deliberately goads anyone who came of age after 1960 to pull the Eurocentric card And given the amount of time Bloom has spent of late on a personal crusade against the Harry Potter series, you almost wonder if Bloom has landed a few steps to the wrong side of the line between provocative and senile It is puzzling to say the least that such a brilliant critic feels the need to officially weigh in vocally and repeatedly on an already critically agreed upon observation about the literary value of the Potter stories Of COURSE the writing is trite and repetitive, Bloomie Shouldn t you be writing essays on Hamlet Well, postcolonialists looking for a winning fight should go back to dusty old Conrad works Bloom s leviathan is just too good And you don t have to buy into the idea that Shakespeare was the progenitor of limning the human consciousness in literature to find ye some beauty and truth in Bloom s essays about the myriad and often quite surprising ways in which the Bard explores the underpinnings of homo sapiens sapiens.In other words, you don t need to think Shakespeare was the first writer to perform an autopsy on the human soul to concede how successful he perfected the procedure I consult this book in the same way that I consult a dictionary or other large reference one can t imagine functioning without.

  8. says:

    A work in progress that will probably last several years, but I am quite enjoying Bloom s pompous, sometimes even overblown essays

  9. says:

    Glad it s on my shelfbut depressed about it at the same time A big hunk of what Bloom is trying pass off as revelatory is like a response to younger literary critics and their beliefs And it s kind of charmingly ironic that Bloom attacks others for their blind devotion to narrow paradigms in a book where he spends a big glob of time psychologically fawning over Falstaff It s not really a book about Shakespeare it s a book about what Harold Bloom wants us to know about Shakespeare and why he thinks we should know it Which means a lot of the book is really about Harold Bloom it would be better titled Harold Bloom s Stentorian Voiceover of Shakespeare With Added Important Commentary But you have to have balls like church bells to even try something so patently self serving I m surprised Stanley Fish didn t get to it first.

  10. says:

    I hate to call any book worthless, but I m having a hard time thinking of anything of value in this narcissistic bore of a tome Bloom has done absolutely no research on Early Modern culture, has no concept of the current scholarly discussion in Shakespeare studies, and his readings of the plays amount basically to platitudinous gut reactions Sure,he has his insights here and there, but the layperson that thinks this is in any way a great contribution to Shakespeare studies is being hoodwinked Try to find a single citation for this book in any serious books or articles on Early Modern literature.