Thursday, 13 September 2007

H. Bloom on iTunes


Due to the length of the discussion in response to yesterday's post I only have time for a quick post.


Vox Stefani has posted on the use of iTunes by academic institutions to podcast lectures and even courses. One fascinating lecture is by Harold Bloom at Yale University on the reading of poetry (go here and then look under the Humanites section once you're in iTunes). Bloom is relevant for biblical interpreters because of his 'Oedipus-complex' interpretation of intertetxtuality. The lecture may not teach you much about his theory, but it offers a great three-dimensional view of the man who is otherwise only known through his books.


Here's a short paragraph from Wikipedia:


"Bloom's theory of poetic influence regards the development of Western literature as a process of borrowing and misreading. Writers find their creative inspiration in previous writers and begin by imitating those writers; in order to develop a poetic voice of their own, however, they must make their own work different from that of their precursors. As a result, Bloom argues, authors of real power must inevitably 'misread' their precursors' works in order to make room for fresh imaginings."

2 comments:

voxstefani said...

The lecture [....] offers a great three-dimensional view of the man who is otherwise only known through his books.

That is precisely what I found so fascinating about it, and why I singled it out from among Yale's meagre iTunes U offerings!

-Esteban

Phil Sumpter said...

Did you get through the whole thing? I managed about an hour of it and felt I had got enough out of it to justify the time spent not working.

Getting to know the individual behind the book seems to be especially important in a field like 'intertextuality', which is so diverse it's hard to get an overview. Especially in the case of Bloom, who is so 'psychological' in his approach. I wonder what role such a psychological approach should play in a canonical reading of the text.