15 nov. 2007

Harold Bloom seems to be praising Robert Alter's Psalms in the New York Review of Books this week, but actually he is saying that Alter's translations do not hold up to previous translations, that they are the translations of a scholar not a poet. All the lavish praise at the beginning of the review, you know it's not going to end well.

And Harold has been fretting for years about the lack of significant Jewish contribution to American culture? What about Benny Goodman, Stan Getz? Saul Bellow and Philip Roth? Malamud? Harold Arlen and Kenneth Koch? Jerome Rothenberg? Allen Ginsberg? How about Zukofsky? Larry Rivers? I could go on and on though for some strange reason only the names of men are occuring to me right now...

8 comentarios:

Herb Levy dijo...

I'd love to hear some of those Arlen & Koch collaborations.

Judy dijo...

Re: Jewish women: strange indeed. Two words: Gertrude Stein.

Jacob Russell dijo...

I wonder if Bloom has something more in mind that writers with Jewish parents? He had an odd encounter with David Slavitt back in his student days, who it seems thought of Bloom as not sufficiently assimilated, and something of an embarassment to his waspish aspirations.

Cynthia Ozick might be closer to what Bloom is looking for.

Jonathan dijo...

Well you can't say Rothenberg is just a Jewish writer because his parents were Jewish. What about Poland 1931 and A Big Jewish Book? What about Ginsberg's Kaddish? The fact that Jewish writers Mailer, Roth, Malamud, and Bellow practically dominated a certain segment of the American novel and did in fact write about being Jewish quite a bit (most of them.)

The fact that Jews invented and dominated musical comedy from Irving Berlin onward is pretty significant too. Take away Cole Porter and you have a pretty much Jewish tradition.

If you want to see Ozick and Potok as the main Jewish writers and creators of American culture, be my guest. That's another perspective.

Jonathan dijo...

And those Arlen / Koch collaborations exist only in my fertile imagination.

Jacob Russell dijo...

Potok.... ouch

For music, I would mention the influence of Klezmor to Jazz.

Andrew Shields dijo...

Okay, Jonathan, it's time to start writing down those Arlen/Koch collaborations! That could really be something. :-)

brian salchert dijo...

Creators such as Ginsberg, Roth,
Koch, Zukofsky, and, and, and ...
are beyond the range of Harold
Bloom's aesthetic.