Get Your Free Audiobook

Listen with a free trial

1 credit a month to use on any title, yours to keep (you’ll use your first credit on this title).
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
Access to exclusive deals and discounts.
$16.45 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy Now for $53.64

Buy Now for $53.64

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions Of Use and Privacy Notice and authorise Audible to charge your designated credit card or another available credit card on file.

Publisher's Summary

In arguably his most personal and lasting work, America's most daringly original and controversial critic gives us brief, luminous readings of more than 80 texts by canonical authors - texts he has had by heart since childhood.

Gone are the polemics. Here, instead, in a memoir of sorts - an inward journey from childhood to 90 - Bloom argues elegiacally with nobody but Bloom, interested only in the influence of the mind upon itself when it absorbs the highest and most enduring imaginative literature. He offers more than 80 meditations on poems and prose that have haunted him since childhood and which he has possessed by memory: from the Psalms and Ecclesiastes to Shakespeare and Dr. Johnson; Spenser and Milton to Wordsworth and Keats; Whitman and Browning to Joyce and Proust; Tolstoy and Yeats to Delmore Schwartz and Amy Clampitt; Blake to Wallace Stevens - and so much more. And though he has written before about some of these authors, these exegeses, written in the winter of his life, are movingly informed by "the freshness of last things".

As Bloom writes movingly: "One of my concerns throughout Possessed by Memory is with the beloved dead. Most of my good friends in my generation have departed. Their voices are still in my ears. I find that they are woven into what I read. I listen not only for their voices but also for the voice I heard before the world was made. My other concern is religious, in the widest sense. For me poetry and spirituality fuse as a single entity. All my long life I have sought to isolate poetic knowledge. This also involves a knowledge of God and gods. I see imaginative literature as a kind of theurgy in which the divine is summoned, maintained, and augmented."

Includes a PDF diagram from the book. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Harold Bloom (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"These essays reveal a deeply personal attachment and fresh perspective. An eloquent and erudite rereading of the author's beloved works." (Kirkus Reviews)

"A rich lifetime of readership and scholarship can be found within the covers of this equally rich book." (Publishers Weekly

"Describe is what he does, perhaps more brilliantly than anyone else alive." (Esquire)

What listeners say about Possessed by Memory

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kindle Customer
  • Kindle Customer
  • 27-08-2021

laden with poetry &laced literary insights

laden with poetry &laced literary insights, cannot get enough,will listen to this over and t, like a compelling piece of music.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for John ROTHERMEL
  • John ROTHERMEL
  • 07-12-2021

Subjective but interesting

Bloom recapitulates old positions. Not much digging into "criticism." Good coverage of Milton.

Excellent reader.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Norman
  • Norman
  • 03-04-2021

What an endowment!

This is an incredible inheritance for anyone who delights in a very personal tour of literature. Here, great poetic (broadly speaking) writing is embroidered with the rich expertise of one of the great scholars and public intelligence our time. I was particularly moved by the section on A.R.Ammons, who turns out to have been Bloom’s dear friend. Bloom is not only encyclopedic in his knowledge of poets but actually has spent time and/or corresponded with many of them personally. And his exegesis of Biblical passages is also memorable especially his review of the Book of Job. The familiar—and fair—critique applies that Bloom has noticeably few entries other than “dead white men.” But this is his experience and, fortunately, one can now turn elsewhere to read beyond that canon. Overall, this is a masterpiece.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Elliott Wolfe, M.D.
  • Elliott Wolfe, M.D.
  • 07-05-2019

Too much information

A scholar's book without crystal clear presentation. Too many names, more facts than can be absorbed. Pace of reading too fast. A sad story.

4 people found this helpful

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.