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4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 30 January 2002
After shaking up the academic world with his "theoretical" "Anxiety of Influence", Bloom begins to settle into what would prove his proper mode--the discursive literary essay. "A Map of Misreading" centers upon Browning's "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came" (one of Bloom's touchstones for his theories) as the perfect example of the latecomer Romantic poet struggling against his precursors. It is Bloom's wonder and love of this poem that is on display here as much as "proof" of his theory.
What is most evident in all of Bloom's books, and what is most important, is an obvious passion for reading (reading anything and everything). Bloom ranges across British and American Poets to discover how poems struggle against other poems. But, frankly, what I've always come away from a Bloom book with is a map of Bloom's misreadings that are worth a college education in and of themselves. We discover Emerson afresh and hear of Dutch Psychologist J. H. Van Den Berg, discover we must encounter Hans Jonas on Gnosticism and The Kabbalah of Isaac Luria(if we're to know anything of the roots of literary struggling against the precursor) and wish we'd memorized Paradise Lost. In short, for me, he encourages continued and life-long (mis)reading.
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