Rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Harold and Leopold
Samuel Johnson by Joshua Reynolds (1772)
Leopold Bloom is one of the most famous characters in
literature, a modern day Odysseus, wandering through Dublin and living with a
case of impotence in the light of the death of his son, Rudy. Harold Bloom on
the other hand is hardly a work of fiction though he might very well have been
a character dreamt up by a novelist like George Eliot whose famous intellectual
was Casaubon. Bloom bears some resemblance to Dr. Johnson due to his several
chins and his extraordinary knowledge. However, Harold Bloom is more of a
critic than a lexicographer and as of yet has no Boswell, documenting his life
and appetites. Surely it’s about time someone address the life of Harold Bloom
and his legendary photographic memory. Bloom like another Bloom by the name
of Allan who taught at the University of Chicago is a great advocate of the
canon, much of which ostensibly lies not only at his fingertips but on the tip
of his tongue. A potential Boswell could do for Bloom what Joyce did for his
fictional character, charting the great literary critic's wanderings, which,
however, might be more around imaginations than cities. Poldy was the nickname
Joyce gave to his character.Compulsionwas Meyer Levin's’ fictionalized treatment of Leopold and Loeb . Harold and Maude was a romantic comedy.
But how about a movie about the two Blooms called Harold and Leopold? It would hit moviegoers like the canon.
Francis Levy's debut novel, Erotomania: A Romance, was released in August 2008 by Two Dollar Radio.
His short stories, criticism, humor, and poetry have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, The Village Voice, The East Hampton Star, The Quarterly, Penthouse, Architectural Digest, TV Guide, The Journal of Irreproducible Results, and other publications. One of his Voice humor pieces was anthologized in The Big Book of New American Humor (HarperCollins). He is presently the Co-Director of The Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of Imagination (philoctetes.org), where he supervises roundtable discussions on topics as varied as “The Psychology of the Modern Nation State” and “Modern Traffic Theory, Behavior, and Imagination”.