Julius Caesar, fair and balanced

One of my favorite books to pick up and read random sections from is Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human by Harold Bloom. He means the title literally: “Our ideas as to what makes the self authentically human owe more to Shakespeare than ought to be possible.” I don’t know if I’d go that far, but no writer can deny … Read More

Bloomin’ Shakespeare, part 2

Man, did I hate Romeo and Juliet. We had to read it in high school, along with the perennial Julius Caesar. At least JC had brutal gang stabbings, political intrigue and ghosts. And true, R&J had swordfights. But they were swordfights by boys our age in tights. Believe me, in small town West Tennessee in the Seventies, no one openly … Read More

Bloomin’ Shakespeare, part 1

In the process of cleaning out my study for its current use as the boys’ playroom (already the scene of an epic Nerf-sword battle between the Squirrel Boy and me), I came across Harold Bloom’s ginormous Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human. As only someone absolutely certain of himself could do, Bloom gives you the correct (i.e., his) interpretation of … Read More