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The Daemon Knows: Literary Greatness and the American Sublime

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by Harold Bloom
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The Daemon Knows: Literary Greatness and the American Sublime by Harold Bloom

Hailed as "the indispensable critic" by The New York Review of Books, Harold Bloom—New York Times bestselling writer and Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University—has for decades been sharing with readers and students his genius and passion for understanding literature and explaining why it matters. Now he turns at long last to his beloved writers of our national literature in an expansive and mesmerizing book that is one of his most incisive and profoundly personal to date. A product of five years of writing and a lifetime of reading and scholarship, The Daemon Knows may be Bloom's most masterly book yet.

Pairing Walt Whitman with Herman Melville, Ralph Waldo Emerson with Emily Dickinson, Nathaniel Hawthorne with Henry James, Mark Twain with Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens with T. S. Eliot, and William Faulkner with Hart Crane, Bloom places these writers' works in conversation with one another, exploring their relationship to the "daemon"—the spark of genius or Orphic muse—in their creation and helping us understand their writing with new immediacy and relevance. It is the intensity of their preoccupation with the sublime, Bloom proposes, that distinguishes these American writers from their European predecessors.

As he reflects on a lifetime lived among the works explored in this book, Bloom has himself, in this magnificent achievement, created a work touched by the daemon.

Praise for Harold Bloom and The Daemon Knows

"The sublime The Daemon Knows is a veritable feast for the general reader (me) as well as the advanced (I assume) one."—John Ashbery

"[Bloom] is, by any reckoning, one of the most stimulating literary presences of the last half-century."—Sam Tanenhaus, The New York Times Book Review

"As always, Bloom conveys the intimate, urgent, compelling sense of why it matters that we read these canonical authors."Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Bloom thinks in the sweep of millennia, of intellectual patterns that unfold over centuries, of a vast and intricate labyrinth of interconnections between artists from Plato to Pater."—Michael Lindgren, The Washington Post

"A colossus among critics."—Adam Begley, The New York Times Magazine

"Probably the most celebrated literary critic in the United States."—Frank Kermode, The Guardian

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Ebook Details
Pages: 544
Size: 2.4 MB
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
Date published:   2015
ISBN: 9780812997835 (DRM-EPUB)

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