Where Shall Wisdom be Found?

Front Cover
Emulating one of his favorite critics, Dr. Samuel Johnson, Bloom returns once more to sift through the Western canon, this time to discern and describe those writers whose brand of wisdom he holds in highest esteem. Beginning with Job and Ecclesiastes, and ranging from Plato, Homer, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Montaigne, Francis Bacon, Johnson and Goethe to Emerson, Nietzsche, Freud and Proust, Bloom writes about each as he evaluates by comparison and teases out indicators of their subtle interrelationships. Into this study he interjects a personal note, describing how he is writing in the aftermath of life-threatening illness and with a renewed sense of the preciousness of literature's great lessons. At the heart of Bloom's project is the ancient quarrel between "poetry" and "philosophy." In Bloom's opinion, we ought not have to choose between Homer and Plato; we can have both, as long as we recognize that poetry is superior. Bloom considers Cervantes and Shakespeare the masters of wisdom in modern literature, "equals of Ecclesiastes, and the Book of Job, of Homer and Plato." He justifies his tastes with close readings of King Lear and Macbeth that find a Shakespearean variety of nihilism, a form of wisdom Bloom identifies as central to the poetic tradition.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JBreedlove - LibraryThing

Always informative and interesting reading Bloom. So wide read and with many ideas on comparitive literature relative to philosophy and history. Enjoyed the section om Emerson and will have to decide on my own about Proust. Read full review

Where Shall Wisdom Be Found?

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Bloom, the renowned literary critic and author of more than 25 books, has launched another masterly work that poses the age-old question from the Book of Job: "Where shall wisdom be found?" Clearly ... Read full review


The Gospel of Thomas

2 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2004)

Harold Bloom is Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University and a former Charles Eliot Norton Professor at Harvard. His more than twenty-five books include Hamlet; Genius; How to Read and Why; Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human; The Western Canon; The Book of J; and The Anxiety of Influence. He is a MacArthur Prize Fellow, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the recipient of many awards and honorary degrees, including the Academy's Gold Medal for Belles Lettres and Criticism, the International Prize of Catalonia, and the Alfonso Reyes Prize of Mexico.

Bibliographic information