Jesus and Yahweh

Jesus \& Yahweh
by Harold Bloom

Few American literary intellectuals command more awe in the academy than Harold Bloom, the Yale English professor and scholar whose 1973 book, The Anxiety of Influence, traced the ways writers continually struggle against their literary fathers and mothers.

That book succeeded in enriching the literary lexicon not only with its title phrase but also with some of the ancillary terms Bloom introduced-“misreading,” “belatedness”-to focus the agonized, Oedipal back-and-forth between any powerful new literary text and its equally powerful forebears. Bloom’s cause as a critic has been to defend the aesthetic autonomy of literary art. His oeuvre apotheosizes the common experience of losing track of time when lost in the internal calendar of a novel or a concerto, or when frozen before an image, like Keats before his Grecian urn. Though perfectly capable of conventional historical criticism, Bloom privileges criticism written from inside the time that loses track of time. Positioned there (ensconced, if you will, or enthroned), he makes pronouncements that baffle if read as historical report, but enlighten if read as aesthetic engagement. When writing about Scripture, in The Book of J (1991) and now in Jesus and Yahweh: The Names Divine, Bloom speaks, outrageously, of Shakespeare as if he were God and of God as if he were King Lear, but would anything less outrageous suffice to hoist the mighty Bible from the solitude...

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About the Author

Jack Miles is Distinguished Professor of English and Religious Studies at the University of California, Irvine, and Senior Fellow for Religion and International Affairs for with the Pacific Council on International Policy.