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Ruin the Sacred Truths: Poetry and Belief from the Bible to the Present
by Harold BLOOM
Harvard University Press, 1989
Paper: 978-0-674-78028-6 | eISBN: 978-0-674-02310-9 | Cloth: 978-0-674-78027-9
Library of Congress Classification PN1077.B55 1989
Dewey Decimal Classification 809.1

Bloom surveys with majestic view the literature of the West from the Old Testament to Samuel Beckett. He provocatively rereads the Yahwist (or J) writer, Jeremiah, Job, Jonah, the Iliad, the Aeneid, Dante's Divine Comedy, Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, the Henry IV plays, Paradise Lost, Blake's Milton, Wordsworth's Prelude, and works by Freud, Kafka, and Beckett. In so doing, he uncovers the truth that all our attempts to call any strong work more sacred than another are merely political and social formulations. This is criticism at its best.

Table of Contents:
1. The Hebrew Bible
2. From Homer to Dante
3. Shakespeare
4. Milton
5. Enlightenment and Romanticism
6. Freud and Beyond

Reviews of this book:
Bloom's puissance is not entirely his own; for some of it, he is indebted to Nietzsche, Freud, Schopenhauer, Gershom Scholem, and other masters. But enough of it is his own to constitute a distinctive form of splendor.
--Denis Donoghue, New York Review of Books

Reviews of this book:
The wit, the eclecticism and the gripping paradoxes...the force of [Bloom's] intellect carries the reader from pinnacle to pinnacle, showing a new spiritual landscape from each.
--Roger Scruton, Washington Times

Reviews of this book:
In some ways the wildest of the wild men (and women), in some ways the most traditional of the traditionalists, Harold Bloom remains serene amid the turbulence--much of it caused by him. He stands dauntless, a party of one, as thrilling to behold up on the high wire as he is (at times) throttling to read on the page...From this strong critic dealing with these strong poets comes a potent mix of insight.
--Mark Feeney, Boston Globe

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