Sublimity Listed: Bloom’s 12 American Writers

Harold Bloom has a new book coming out—rather like my grandmother, he's been falsely prophesying his imminent demise for almost my entire lifetime. Since the end will come for us all eventually, I'm always glad to see old Bloom fighting the good fight.* Now he lists his 12 authors who best exemplify "the American Sublime" (see the … Continue reading Sublimity Listed: Bloom’s 12 American Writers

Robert D. Richardson, First We Read, Then We Write: Emerson on the Creative Process

First We Read, Then We Write: Emerson on the Creative Process by Robert D. Richardson My rating: 4 of 5 stars I'm not sure I got what I was supposed to from this book, even as it is a book that argues for the rights of readers to get whatever they need from their reading. … Continue reading Robert D. Richardson, First We Read, Then We Write: Emerson on the Creative Process

In Defense of Emerson: Reading for the Lustres

Before I read Micah Mattix's Weekly Standard essay in dispraise of Emerson, "Where's Waldo?" I was curious to see what line of attack would be pursued. Critics on the left commonly assail Emerson for his individualism, for those features of his rhetoric we might call Reaganesque ("Are they my poor?"). But Emerson was a metaphysical radical, … Continue reading In Defense of Emerson: Reading for the Lustres

Rebecca Harding Davis, Life in the Iron Mills

Life in the Iron Mills and Other Stories by Rebecca Harding Davis My rating: 5 of 5 stars This debut novella by Rebecca Harding Davis, first published in the Atlantic Monthly in 1861, is now a classic after its rescue from oblivion by Tillie Olsen and the Feminist Press in the 1970s. An early example … Continue reading Rebecca Harding Davis, Life in the Iron Mills