Reading is difficult, if for no other reason than that the text is always already dead in some substantial way, opaque to the reader to some degree. Even if one had the author to explain the text, there is no guarantee the author understands their own text, let alone what it means.
I pre-ordered Harold Bloom's latest book, Possessed by Memory: The Inward Light of Criticism, months ago and had completely forgotten it was coming out today. Thanks to a quick email, I realized it was now waiting for me on my Kindle bookshelf. I can't overstate how excited I am to finally read this.
I’ve known about Harold Bloom since I first read The American Religion (1992, 2013) in 2015, but about two months ago I discovered for the first time what may be called (despite Bloom’s own wishes) the spiritual successor to that previous book: Omens of Millennium: The Gnosis of Angels, Dreams, and Resurrection (1997). In reading Omens, I was captivated afresh with a topic that I had known about since I was a teenager, but which Bloom himself seemed to capture and articulate in ways I never could: namely, the ancient spiritual traditions collectively known as Gnosticism. Instantly intrigued, I devoured Omens, reread American Religion, and set out for more books by Bloom (I’ve attached a list of suggested reading to the end of this post, in fact).