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Mark Edmundson

Mark Edmundson teaches English at the University of Virginia, and is a contributing editor at Harper’s Magazine.

Bloom’s Giant Forms

Mark Edmundson, 1 June 1989

One way to think of Harold Bloom is as a professor and scholar of Romantic poetry who has Romantic aspirations of his own. He writes in the passionate style of Emerson and Shelley, and he has a penchant like Blake’s for system-building. Bloom would subscribe to that poet’s declaration in Jerusalem that his business isn’t to reason and compare, but to create. The characters in Blake’s cosmological fiction are named Urizen, Los, Enitharmon; in Bloom’s they include Wordsworth, Shelley, Emerson, Stevens and Blake.

Taking leave

Mark Edmundson, 2 March 1989

Walking now in certain parts of large American cities, you encounter a common sight, a group of men, obviously gay, moving in a sort of protective cluster through the crowd. In the middle of the group is one man who is obviously very, very sick. His friends will not let anyone get too close, but not because he presents an immediate danger to the passers-by. It is the man with Aids who is actually imperilled in a crowd. Catching a simple cold, or any of dozens of other infections the healthy body shrugs off, can kill him.

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