Edwardian And Georgian Fiction (Bloom's Period Studies) by Harold Bloom

By Harold Bloom

This quantity examines the good writers of the overdue nineteenth/early twentith century, from Thomas Hardy to Joseph Conrad.

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Extra info for Edwardian And Georgian Fiction (Bloom's Period Studies)

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Forster shows us what we never ought to have forgotten, which is that any distinction between religious and secular literature is finally a mere political or societal polemic, but is neither a spiritual nor an aesthetic judgment. There is no sacred literature and no post-sacred literature, great or good. A Passage to India falls perhaps just short of greatness, in a strict aesthetic judgment, but spiritually it is an extraordinary achievement. S. Eliot consciously strove to be a devotional poet, and certainly did become a Christian polemicist as a cultural and literary critic.

And he enchants us even as he enchants the populace of Sulaco, though most of all he enchants the skeptical and enigmatic Conrad, who barely defends himself against the enchantment with some merely rhetorical ironies. Ethos is the daimon, character is fate, in Conrad as in Heracleitus, and Nostromo’s tragic fate is the inevitable fulfillment of his desperate grandeur, which Conrad cannot dismiss as mere vanity, despite all his own skepticism. Only Nostromo saves the novel, and Conrad, from nihilism, the nihilism of Decoud’s waste in suicide.

He felt as King David and other mystics have felt when they are in the mystic state. He presented well-known characteristics. He was convinced that he was in touch with the reality he called Krishna. And he was unconscious of the world around him. “You can come in during my observances tomorrow and see me if you like, but I shall not know that you are there,” he once told Malcolm. And he didn’t know. He was in an abnormal but recognisable state; psychologists have studied it. More interesting, and more elusive, are his religious opinions.

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