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Bloom, Harold (Author) & Shakespeare, William (Subject). SHAKESPEARE: THE INVENTION OF THE HUMAN. New York City, NY: Riverhead Books, 1998. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 745 pages. Fine/Fine.

Massive collection of essays on subject. One of the greatest books of the 20th century. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. Removable "Autographed Copy" sticker pasted in front. The First Edition is now rare. Presents the crowning achievement of Harold Bloom's genius, a 745-page celebration ("commentary" does not quite do justice in this context) of the one writer that he, controversially, regards as the greatest literary artist of all time. The central narrative/theme of Harold Bloom's life-work is the literary (rather than philosophical) struggle between "authority" and "personality". Whether it's specifically between orthodoxy versus heresy, The Holy Bible versus The Book of J, normative Judaism/Christianity versus mystical Kabbalah/Gnosticism, "personality" is triumphant because it is more expressive, more subtle, and more multitudinous whereas "authority" inevitably becomes predictable, rigid, and ossified. The idea of "personality" is not just articulated but sublimely dramatized by Bloom. But he credits Shakespeare with inventing it, and devotes a definitive essay to each of the plays, emphasizing their "personality" and influence on all subsequent literature, feeling, and thought. "Before Bloom is done with us, he has made us wonder whether his vision of Shakespeare's influence on the whole of our lives might not simply be the sobering truth. A feast of arguments and insights, written with engaging frankness and affecting immediacy. Filled with literally thousands of insights" (Daniel Hintzsche). Bloom is as inexhaustible as Shakespeare. While he has all but turned Shakespeare into his personal vision of God, the one personality-turned-authority he can believe in and revere, only a genius of his stature could engage in such "hero-worship" without ever surrendering his critical faculties. He has made Bardolatry possible again. "The ultimate use of Shakespeare is to let him teach you to think too well and towards whatever truth you can sustain without perishing" (Harold Bloom). An absolute "must-have" title for Harold Bloom and William Shakespeare collectors. This copy is very prominently and beautifully signed in black ink-pen on the publisher's tipped-in page by Harold Bloom. The publisher issued a limited number of tipped-in signed copies, which promptly vanished from bookstore shelves (as we recall, within a day of their release in 1998). We note this only because very few such signed copies have resurfaced since then, almost twenty years later, which means that reader/collectors have held on to them all this time. This title is a great book. This is one of very few signed copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Beware: Most copies available online are subsequent printings or have major flaws. A rare signed copy thus. The greatest living literary critic on the greatest writer of all time. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER HAROLD BLOOM TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 1573221201. $300.00

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