Thoughts Edited and with an introduction by Harold Bloom, Chelsea House Publishers 2001, 224 pages
Challenge: none, mistakenly thought this WAS the novel it discusses…
Genre/Theme: Critical Analysis / Essays (… other way around?!)
Type/Source: Hardcover / Library
What It’s About: This was Harold, being –what seems to me– a pompous ass. I don’t doubt that he is 3x, 4x, 5x smarter than I am, but his style is major “white man being pompous ass about knowing WAY more about literature…. no, sorry CAPITAL “L” Literature, than you do.” and that is OK. Let Harold, GRHS*, have his respect for his literary prowess. But EYE ROLL – the intro had me laughing! He says,
“After I discussed the Harry Potter fad in the Wall Street Journal, the Journal received eighty negative letters and no positive. JK Rowling, like Stephen King and Danielle Steele, will join the thousands of other writers in the “lumber of libraries” and the dustbin of the ages. Popularity is an index to popularity and to nothing more.”PS – I almost bought Fairy Tales today… fad?!
Thoughts: First, an admission. I thought I had checked out the classic WW1 novel by EMR. Apparently, no. This was Harold’s collection of essays of critical analysis of the novel that was just not as good as Hemingway’s Farewell to Arms, but the second most famous WW1 novel. I have NOT read FtA. And I likely will NOT. I will ONLY attempt, if ever, to read any more Ernie books, might read Moveable Feast. maybe.
I flipped through this, read the first few pages of most, some I read all the way through. I was fascinated by HOW LONG some of these essays were!
I had questions about how the author had “Maria” as a middle name, and why he was born with lastname Remark, but was known by Remarque… Then in the index, I saw Danielle Steele, –who is STILL publishing stories! I haven’t read her work in over 40 years.
I then started my googling and WIKI-ing and found out that EMR married Paulette Goddard! yikes and wowza. He dated some hot ladies before that, too. But that is the society pages… but still! INTERESTING (to me, don’t know why.)
I returned this to the library and picked up the actual novel. Reading it soon for the WiaN challenge of QZX.
Rating: Three slices of pie. No pie mentioned that I could find.
- GRHS – God Rest His Soul, I don’t mean to be an HB hater but he seriously writes just to annoy me.
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5 thoughts on “Modern Critical Interpretations: Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front”
Bloom was so influential (The Anxiety of Influence) that he started to believe he was important.
I have no doubts he was a smart guy.
The sort of book that KILLS a burgeoning love of reading in the young.
This book isn’t geared to young readers, but very specific literature nerds, methinks.
I guess that’s a good thing. Hopefully, these lit nerds can take it.