The Saving Lie
Harold Bloom and Deconstruction
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: Northwestern University Press
Title, Copyright Page
List of Abbreviations of Harold Bloom’s Works
Introduction: Life as an Argument: Harold Bloom’s Antithetical Vitalism
If there is a slogan which captures the force of Bloom’s theoretical efforts, from his earliest works on romanticism, through his engagement with deconstruction, to his latest inquiries into the aesthetics of genius, it ought to be drawn from the marginal notes of Blake: “To Generalize is to be an Idiot. To Particularize is the Alone Distinction of...
Part I: The Antithetical Quester
Chapter One: Life in Agon: From Romanticism to Deconstruction and Beyond
Although Bloom considers himself to be a heir of the romantic tradition, his own understanding of this “visionary company,” which has haunted his imagination for years, is, in fact, highly revisionary. It runs completely against the popular cliché according to which romanticism was an attempt to recreate a mythical reconciliation with nature in the...
Chapter Two: Literary Lie and Philosophical Truth: Tarrying with the Deconstruction
In Violence and the Sacred Girard talks about rituals that go wrong: instead of appeasing the mimetic violence that every now and then seizes community and turns it into a de-differentiated mob, it merely enhances aggression and unleashes forces of destruction beyond reach and control of any ritualistic containment. Perhaps, it is a little far-fetched analogy—...
Part II: Agon with the Deadly Angels
Chapter Three: Life and Death in Deconstruction: From Hegel to de Man
Literary theorists often agree that Harold Bloom is somehow too idiosyncratic to be approached in what they may call a proper theoretical way. Being so contrary, almost to the point of a spitefulness that pushes him to write in spite of every possible received opinion, he puts himself in the uncomfortable position of someone who actively hinders his...
Chapter Four: The Davharocentric Subject, or Narcissism Reconsidered: Bloom Versus Derrida
We have examined the dangers the poetic self encounters in his potentially lethal confrontation with language, but only from the one side of this phenomenon; we showed how the deconstructive conception of writing as the “postmortal space” bars the self, as a concrete living entity, from entering the symbolic sphere. This time, however, we shall look...
Part III: Wrestling Harold
Chapter Five: Intricate Evasions, or the Poetic Will-to-Ignorance
We shall now resume themes we have already discussed in the first two parts, but this time develop them in Bloom’s own idiom: highly idiosyncratic, deliberately “non-angelic” and “ignoble”; deidealizing, sobering, and disenchanting, yet not for a “reducing” or deadening but a “quickening” or vitalizing purpose (MM, 65) that puts its stakes on the defenses...
Chapter Six: Fair Crossings: From Mere Life to More Life
Harold Bloom has never hidden his dislike for Martin Heidegger. His introduction to The Anxiety of Influence almost begins with “Heidegger, whom I cheerfully abhor” (AI, xi), and the text itself is peppered with mocking references to “Heidegger and his French flock.” Yet, as usual with Bloom, one of the most spiteful tricksters of contemporary humanities,...
Chapter Seven: Tainted Love: A Psycho-Kabbalistic Reading of the Poetic Scene of Instruction
The whole of Bloom’s idiom is a living confirmation of the famous apothegm of William Blake, who claimed that it is wiser to be a tiger of wrath than a horse of instruction. It is through and through militant and agonistic—yet, being so tigerlike, it cannot always successfully avoid its uneasy place of origin: the Scene of Instruction to which he, as well as...
Page Count: 416
Publication Year: 2011
Volume Title: 1
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