Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Book review!

For my first book review, I will inform you about:

Where Shall Wisdom Be Found? by Harold Bloom (I can't find the underline)

Ok, so I bought this book because my bookclub made it sound really cool, like it would have some good insights and stuff. Well, they were only a little bit right, but mostly they were horribly mislead. Maybe they only read the first chapter, which (cruelly), was decent. He tries to explain the purpose of the book in the preface, but I still have no real idea of what his definition of "wisdom writing" is. Mostly, I think he means writing that makes old people feel better about being old, approaching death, and facing the deaths of thier friends/loved ones. Fair enough.

However, after the first chapter, which talks about two books of the bible, Job and Ecclesiastes, he spends pretty much the whole rest of the book talking about how good Shakespeare is, and how everyone else should just give up because they have no chance of ever being that cool. The chapter on Montaigne was good, and the bit on Emerson was decent. I can only assume that this is because Shakespeare didn't write essays, and so they were allowed to try thier hand at it.

The author, aside from having a really horrible writing style, is also a huge prude. I mean it. He is like an uber-crotchety version of the masterpiece theatre guy. He teaches at Yale, and I can just see him there, clutching his heart medicine and grumbling about the hooligans who could dare think that Tolstoy was a better novelist than Cervantes. (swoon)

He's actually kind of creepy when it comes to Shakespeare. I think he touches himself a lot.

Don't read this book. It will give you glaucoma and you will never see again.

Instead: Have a wine and cheese party. Glue on a fake mustache and walk around saying swarthy things about vases or natural beauty.

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