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Bloom, Harold (Author); Shakespeare, William; Whitman, Walt & Other Poets (Subjects). RUIN THE SACRED TRUTHS: POETRY AND BELIEF FROM THE BIBLE TO THE PRESENT (THE CHARLES ELIOT NORTON LECTURES). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1989. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 205 pages. Near Fine/Fine.

Collection of lecture-essays. One of the greatest literary texts of the 20th century. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions, particularly the Softcover Edition. Published in a tiny first print run as a hardcover original only by a University Press. The First Edition is now rare. Originally delivered as the prestigious Charles Eliot Norton Lectures at Harvard University in 1988, the book recasts the public lectures in their final essay form (anyone who has ever seen and heard Harold Bloom in public knows that he can talk non-stop for hours, and still compel one's attention), and gathers them in one elegant volume. Bloom has dedicated the book to his Yale University colleague, Jonathan Spence, the greatest Western historian on China of our time. Presents Harold Bloom's definitive statement, as literary critic and lifelong student/scholar of religion, on the relation and ultimately, separation between religion ("Church") and literature ("State"). Written at the peak of his critical powers, the book is indispensable reading regardless of what one's own literary and religious principles, inclinations, and beliefs may be. "Taking Oscar Wilde's premise that criticism is 'the only civilized form of autobiography', Bloom uses The Norton Lectures to present his personal encounter with Western authors from the author of the Hebrew Bible to Freud and Beckett. Specifically, Bloom considers the poet's struggle with the boundaries of meaning and truth to represent God. He denies, however, that poetry can represent belief. It is instead, he argues, an attempt to represent the un-representable, that is, the sublime. Always stimulating" (Library Journal). "The wit, the eclecticism, the gripping paradoxes, and the sheer force of Bloom's intellect carry the reader from pinnacle to pinnacle" (Roger Scruton). An absolute "must-have" title for Harold Bloom collectors. This presentation copy is very prominently and beautifully signed and inscribed in blue pen on the half-title page by the author: "For George & Jane Hersey with my Love, Harold Bloom". One of the greatest American scholar/thinkers of the 20th century, George Hersey was an esteemed, lifelong colleague of Harold Bloom at Yale University (just as the book's dedicatee, Jonathan Spence, was). This title is a modern classic. This is the only such signed and inscribed copy of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing available online and despite its imperfection (dampstaining on the top page edges, affecting the corners only; George Hersey was evidently not a book collector) is still a collectible copy because of its unique association value. Furthermore, the DJ and internal pages otherwise remain in clean, crisp, and bright condition. A rare signed copy thus. The greatest living literary critic. A near-fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER HAROLD BLOOM TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0674780272. $200.00

This item is available for purchase. This web page was most recently updated on February 23, 2017.