20 oct. 2011

Sea Surface Full of Clouds (ii)

When i was very young I looked at book that Harold Bloom had just published on Wallace Stevens. Of course, I looked up what he said about "Sea Surface Full of Clouds," and of course he dismissed the poem in a kind of high-handed way, as "the famous and overrated set piece of 1924." The most experimental side of this great modernist poet interested Bloom not at all. So I developed a dislike for Harold Bloom at that point. If he couldn't tell me something interesting about this poem, then I no longer trusted him. Of course, I was probably 20, so what did I know? It was a kind of arrogant position for me to take. On the other hand, I wasn't about to bow down to some critical authority either. At what point was I going to have opinions of my own, if not right then?

4 comentarios:

scott g.f.bailey dijo...

I'll bet Bloom had the same sort of experience at about the same age.

Jonathan dijo...

I'm sure he did. But he must have forgotten or he wouldn't have turned into HAROLD BLOOM>

Clarissa dijo...

This is the best time on one's intellectual journey, I believe. One feels completely entitled to dismiss any accepted authority and very self-assured.

I always thought that people who end up making a name for themselves in academia are the ones who manage to preserve this enthusiasm and self-assurance for as long as possible.

Sadly, I don't think I have been able to do that. :-(

Andrew Shields dijo...

One of the reasons I got bored with physics and math when I was 18/19 years old was the feeling I had that I was not really doing physics and math yet; I was still learning the basics that would allow me to do them. But when I talked about Dostoevsky I was already doing literary criticism, and when I talked about Nietzsche I was already doing philosophy.