[Bloom] claims to be of the school of aesthetic critics, remarking that, in an ideological age, ‘I feel quite alone these days in defending the autonomy of the aesthetic.’ Yet he himself doesn’t seem to have a clue about how to produce anything approaching the aesthetically pleasing in his own writing. In an interview in the Paris Review, he declared that he never revises his prose, and nothing in his work refutes this impressive claim. Any critic ready to avail himself of such gargoylesque words as ‘psychokabbalistic’ and ‘pneumognostic,’ who can refer to a passage in Montaigne as an ‘apotropaic talisman,’ and can write about the cosmos having been ‘reperspectivized by Tolstoy,’ may be many things, but he ain’t no aesthete.
— Joseph Epstein in the Hudson Review1
- Paywalled – link previously given has since rotted. At the New York Times they agree that Harold Bloom is a noodle; they hint, though, that despite his failings, he is very clever. [↩]