Harold Bloom, the doyen of American literary critics and author of ‘How to Read and Why’, takes an enlightening look at the concept of genius through the ages in a celebration of the greatest creative writers of all time.
A monumental achievement, ‘Genius’ examines one hundred of the most creative and literary minds in history. From the Bible to Socrates, through the transcendent achievements of Shakespeare and Dante, down through the ages to Jane Austen, Chekhov and Hemingway, Bloom shows the reader how the wisdom that shines through in this writing can help him or her lead a better, richer life.
Looking at the best and wisest authors, both western and eastern, for the last three thousand years, Bloom asks how literary characters have dealt with love, ageing, death and mourning. How did Achilles, Hamlet and Tolstoy’s Natasha deal with mourning, and what are most psychologically useful reflections that major writers have made upon it? What can Dante’s Beatrice tell us about our own affairs of the heart?
Bloom also offers revealing excerpts from works that continue to surprise, enchant and move the reader time after time. Bloom’s insightful analysis of the poetry of Milton, Shelley and Whitman, the drama of Ibsen and Tolstoy, among many others, will illuminate and expand the reader’s understanding and appreciation for these great works of art.
A wide-ranging study that enriches as it informs, ‘Genius’ is the culmination of Harold Bloom’s half-century of teaching and writing about literature. Beautifully packaged and featuring portraits of many of his subjects, it is a book to treasure.
Reviews of Genius: A Mosaic of One Hundred Exemplary Creative Minds
- ‘Harold Bloom is the leading critic of our time. He lives his literary criticism, enacts it in his soul.’James Wood, Guardian
- Praise for ‘How to Read and Why’:
- ‘“How to Read and Why” is sensationally alert to the joys of reading; and practically every page has some useful insight, some energising challenge.’ Independent on Sunday