[ilds] Readings

slighcl slighcl at wfu.edu
Tue May 6 06:55:54 PDT 2008

On 5/6/2008 9:41 AM, Bruce Redwine wrote:

> Another way to look at the problem is to ask, is Bloom with his pen the equivalent of Heifetz with his violin?  I don't know, but, sadly, I think not.  
Oscar Wilde set the terms for us and for Harold Bloom, as Bloom himself 
would acknowledge.  The strong critic takes up the text of a literary 
work like an actor taking up a script.  Knowledge.  Attention.  
Innovation.  Every work of art the starting point for another work of 
art.  Cf. Wilde's "The Critic as Artist." 

Bloom is a very knowing performer in the full sense of Wilde's terms. 
Some years ago I once sat and watched Bloom read a chapter on Lear from 
the at-the-time unpublished /Shakespeare /book.  Six pages into the 
reading, Bloom turned the page of his script, looked down and grimaced 
in that Dr. Johnson/Zero Mostel way he has, and then plucked up the 
offending page, crumpled it into a small ball of paper, and tossed it 
over his shoulder. 

The critic as artist and editor, I suppose.

Bill has a fine story about the time when Bloom outfoxed Greenblatt. 

Sing, Bill, you man of many turns.


Charles L. Sligh
Department of English
Wake Forest University
slighcl at wfu.edu

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