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Where Shall Wisdom Be Found?
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Where Shall Wisdom Be Found?

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  364 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
In one of his most inspiring books yet, Harold Bloom, our preeminent literary critic, takes the reader from the Bible through the twentieth century, searching for the ways literature can inform lives. Through comparisons of the Book of Job and Ecclesiastes, Plato and Homer, Johnson and Goethe, Cervantes and Shakespeare, Montaigne and Bacon, Emerson and Nietzsche, Freud and ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 4th 2005 by Riverhead Books (first published 2004)
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(showing 1-30)
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Emilian Kasemi
Nov 21, 2014 Emilian Kasemi rated it really liked it
Shelves: inspiring

[12] But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?
[13] Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living.
[14] The depth saith, It is not in me: and the sea saith, It is not with me.
[15] It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof.
[16] It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire.
[17] The gold and the crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it shall not be
...more
Iliana
Feb 19, 2008 Iliana rated it really liked it
While this book is an exercise in self-indulgence and narcissism, that fact in no way diminishes the clarity of presentation, and the quality of discussion. A purely academic discourse on wisdom, especially one that includes the Book of Job, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Montaigne, Geothe, Emerson, and others, provides endless food for thought. Read this one with a pencil in hand.
Katherine Merseth
Jun 02, 2007 Katherine Merseth rated it liked it
Harold Bloom is my favorite literary critic, but I think he aimed a little too high on this one. His purpose is to summarize the "wisdom literature" of the ages, selecting a wide array of the best writers, from St. Augustine to Proust. His analysis is always spot-on, but I guess I just found the Herculean display of literary knowledge kind of exhausting. The benefit is that you can get a good understanding of those classics that you never have time (or care) to read yourself. Chapter 3 is the ...more
Joe
Feb 27, 2008 Joe rated it liked it
Sometimes I like to listen to an old Ivy League brontosaurus lecture as he jerks off the western canon. Nicely divided into small readings.
David
Jan 02, 2013 David rated it liked it
Not bad, certainly not the best or most enlightening book I've read recently, but Mr. Bloom sparked my interest in other writer's works, mostly Cervantes, but Plato, Homer, Goethe and Nietzsche. I did gain a bit more clear understanding behind the writings of the thick veil we call religion. I can appreciate the Old Testament more as a book of philosophy rather than some miracle work directly dictated by God. The biggest distraction was his choice to praise Freud so as a wisdom writer. Then to ...more
Evans McGowan
Sep 13, 2012 Evans McGowan rated it liked it
Took me forever to plow through, but I kept coming back to it because there was nuggets of wisdom, although surrounded by seemingly extraneous musings and long block quotes from the authors he studies. Pretty much exclusively western-centered and 'old white men' written by an old white man, take it with a grain of salt. I will keep it on my shelf to go back to my margin notes for thoughtful insights. Whether or not there is any practical implication, well...
Paola
Apr 25, 2015 Paola rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: saggistica
Ho l'impressione di uno di quei libri il di cui autore dispone di un ego ipertrofico, necessitando stivali da pescatore per poterlo leggere.
Qualcuno dovrebbe dirgli che l'ipotesi documentaria (JEDP) inerente gli autori del Pentateuco, negli ultimi anni é stata messa seriamente in discussione e parrebbe non raccogliere più consensi.
La copertina é orribile.
Samara
Aug 02, 2012 Samara rated it really liked it
Like a good university lecture: easy on the eyes, but so dense with information, you have to read it slowly. Erudite.
Timothy Muller
Jan 27, 2014 Timothy Muller rated it did not like it
Can such a book be written without attempting to enforce one’s own a priori idea of what constitutes wisdom? I think it can, but Bloom has instead attempted to promote his own world view.

I certainly do not feel any wiser having read this book and, except for Plato (whom I need to reread) and portions of the Bible (though not the portions Bloom selects), I would not consult any of the writers he mentions in a search for wisdom. I have no objection to his inclusion of St. Augustine, though he is n
...more
David Schwarm
Sep 18, 2013 David Schwarm rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
I stole this from my mom's library in Oregon.

I am a huge Harold Bloom fan, largely because he taught Camille Paglia, but also because he loves Shakespeare. this book, like many of his books, had a lot of promise, but unfortunately kind of died off towards the end--specifically, during the lengthy Proust quotes.

Highlights for me were his thoughts on Cervantes [I had not seen him go so deep on Don Quixote before] and the fact that he completely ignores the Romantics. I liked his thoughts on Emers
...more
Daniel
Sep 07, 2015 Daniel rated it really liked it
I bought this book as I strive to understand what it means to be wizard. And since the archetypal wizard is defined by wisdom, I have been seeking out books like this one, works by distinguished scholars exploring the notion.

By any other author perhaps, this book would have been a failure, but by a scholar who has read broadly, assimilated what he learned in reading and who has thought about what he learned, this was a wonderful read -- and helpful to me in my project.

That said, the book reads
...more
Francesca Lorenzini
"Queste mie pagine nascono da un'esigenza personale, rispecchiando la ricerca di una sapienza che sia ingrado di portare chiarezza e conforto di fronte ai traumi dell'invecchiamento, della convalescenza dopo gravi malattie, della perdita delle persone che amiamo."
Bloom traccia un'analisi degli autori che ricercano la saggezza più o meno esplicitamente a partire dai testi sacri ebraici, passando per Goethe fino a Freud.
Indicato come approfondimento del corpus letterario degli autori qui esplorati
...more
John
Jul 31, 2009 John rated it really liked it
Bloom brings authors from several traditions into a conversation that raises questions concerning wisdom, poetry and philosophy. Bloom demonstrates with erudition why Shakespeare's King Lear and Hamlet, for example, have as much, if not more, to teach us, than even the Bible. Although I do not agree with this premise, Bloom provides interesting perspecives on the Western Cannon and which authors deserve the most attention and why.
Rick
How is poetry related to wisdom? How is wisdom related to philosophy? Can we gain a perception of meaning on the words of poets and philosophers? The author tackles all of these questions and more. I only wish it had more meat in the analyses and was less esoteric with its references to myriads of names and publications. (And I didn't care for the lack of a bibliography or even an index.)
Nathan
Jan 05, 2008 Nathan rated it it was ok
I found a lot of Bloom's analysis to be cursory, and I still don't know what wisdom is, but at least I know where to look now. Unsurprisingly Bloom recapitulates the agon between philosophy and poetry. . . and poetry wins! If I disagreed with Bloom's thesis I probably wouldn't like this book as much, given its lack of persuasiveness.
Javier
Jan 09, 2008 Javier rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ensayo
Buen libro.
Una buena guía para elegir lectura. Lo malo es que te chafa algunos finales y algunos textos de esos míticos autores que propone.
Por otro lado: si, Harold, si, Shakespeare es lo más sublime. Uff, si nolo dice 80 veces no lo dice ninguna.
Joan Cornet Prat
Aug 21, 2013 Joan Cornet Prat rated it really liked it
In this bool, Bloom takes us from the Bible through the twentieth century, searching for the ways literature can inform our lives.
Where Shall Wisdom Be Found?
Carlos
Aug 07, 2010 Carlos rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-finished
Bloom is a kind of Renassaince man and He is a real genius as a book critic, but I found this book so full of himself and only talking to Itself and leaving everybody out. I dindn't like It, didn'd finish It. Maybe next life.
Farrell Yancy
Jun 18, 2015 Farrell Yancy rated it really liked it
A quick survey through the Western Canon of a subject sorely lacking in the 21st century. Interesting how much "progress" has been made in the last 2500 years in all areas of knowledge and the Wisdom first revealed 2500 years ago has not been surpassed in any manner.
Angela
Sep 25, 2008 Angela added it
Beautiful and quietly heartrending essays on the quest for truth amongst the great "wisdom" writings of world literature. Bloom's personal need for comfort as he ages is palpable yet never compromises his academic rigor with the texts.
Miquixote
Nov 06, 2016 Miquixote rated it really liked it
The argument for reading the Classics. Good in parts, particulary about Cervantes and Shakespeare. Perhaps a bit pedantic in parts.
Amy
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Harold Bloom 2 7 May 23, 2014 01:42PM  
  • Shakespeare
  • Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza
  • The Mirror and the Lamp: Romantic Theory and the Critical Tradition
  • Shakespeare's Language
  • Introduction to the Hebrew Bible
  • Axel's Castle: A Study of the Imaginative Literature of 1870-1930
  • On Literature
  • American Renaissance: Art and Expression in the Age of Emerson and Whitman
  • Rhyme's Reason: A Guide to English Verse
  • The Classical Tradition: Greek and Roman Influences on Western Literature
  • The Book of Job: When Bad Things Happened to a Good Person
  • The Redress of Poetry
  • My Unwritten Books
  • Why Read?
  • Sinai and Zion
  • The Bible with Sources Revealed
  • The Macarthur Study Bible: New American Standard Bible
  • The Life of Poetry
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Bloom is a literary critic, and currently a Sterling Professor of the Humanities at Yale University. Since the publication of his first book in 1959, Bloom has written more than 20 books of literary criticism, several books discussing religion, and one novel. He has edited hundreds of anthologies.
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“Leggiamo per porre rimedio alla nostra solitudine, anche se poi, di fatto, la nostra solitudine cresce parallelamente all'aumentare e all'approfondirsi delle nostre letture. Non riuscirei proprio a considerare il leggere come un vizio, ma va concesso che non si tratta neppure di una virtù.” 9 likes
“Socrates, in Plato, formulates ideas of order: the Iliad, like Shakespeare, knows that a violent disorder is a great order.” 7 likes
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