Top critical review
ALL ABOUT HAROLD BLOOM AND WHO CARES?
on November 19, 2001
This book covers a valuable subject and parts of it are excellent, but ultimately it fails because it is not about how to read but how Harold Bloom reads and he can't move away from his favorite subject to let in some fresh air. Here is a minor example: he pulls up one of Shakespeare's sonnets to condemn the Republicans who impeached Clinton. The sonnet CAN be read to attack people who condemn sexual impropriety while engaging in it themselves, but that would apply more strongly to Clinton himself than the Republicans. It was Clinton, after all, who wrote the law which allows the courts to pry into people's bedroom secrets. That he was caught by his own neo-Puritan law is perfect justice. But in the meanwhile, Shakespeare gets lost in Bloom's bloviating. This would be a far better book if Bloom gave his ego a rest and allowed his formidable intellect to do some heavy lifting for a change.