Sunday, October 27, 2002
washingtonpost.com: His Masters' Voices "...So learned and idea-enamored is Bloom that he cannot discipline his own celebratory sensibility. There is too much, the cohort is simply too large, and Bloom is too eager to play passionate tour-guide to his many beloved writers, everyone from Plato to Kierkegaard, Whitman to Ellison. Every page announces and declares; quotations and gnomic interpretations abound. But no one genius can be got -- represented -- in a few short pages, and Bloom can only telegraph his fondest insights. Like: "The prophetic, Zarathustra-aspect of Nietzsche is now as archaic as Freud's credo: 'Where it was, there I shall be.' " A thesis topic for somebody, to say the least. But Bloom drops this nugget, and a hundred like it, without bending over to pick it up. This is a problem, for without a stronger thread of argument the whole never does exceed the sum of its parts. Still the parts are, many of them, luminous, and the pages are crowded with exuberant personality. Bloom's outsize ambition and reach make the idea of greatness attractive once again."