Saturday, May 15, 2004

Transumptions, Transmumptions

If you've ever read any of Harold Bloom's literary criticism, you know the problem with him: he's incredibly frustrating -- because he poses important questions about great works of literature and answers them with meaningless little quips like "The answer, of course, is Schopenhauer!" -- and arrogant (he's written about 18 books which purport to tell you which are the greatest works of literature in the world, and in what precise order they should be ranked) -- and, most irritatingly, he's almost always right about everything.

This is a sample of what Harold Bloom has to say about Wallace Stevens' The Auroras of Autumn:
"In the poem's final movement of ratios, canto VII works as a sublimating metaphor against the introjecting triad of trope-undoing tropes or transumptions of cantos VIII-X." [Wallace Stevens: The Poems of Our Climate, p. 257]

Not being one of the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary, this doesn't help me much. I'm sure it's not gibberish; I'm just not sure there's anyone else on the planet who speaks this language.