14. Influence

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Introduction to Theory of Literature (ENGL 300)

In this lecture on the psyche in literary theory, Professor Paul Fry explores the work of T. S. Eliot and Harold Bloom, specifically their studies of tradition and individualism. Related and divergent perspectives on tradition, innovation, conservatism, and self-effacement are traced throughout Eliot's "Tradition and the Individual Talent" and Bloom's "Meditation upon Priority." Particular emphasis is placed on the process by which poets struggle with the literary legacies of their precursors. The relationship of Bloom's thinking, in particular, to Freud's Oedipus complex is duly noted. The lecture draws heavily from the works of Pope, Borges, Joyce, Homer, Wordsworth, Longinus, and Milton.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction to Harold Bloom
06:31 - Chapter 2. Mimesis and Imitatio
11:51 - Chapter 3. Bloom "Misreads" Eliot
29:34 - Chapter 4: Literary History: the Always Already Written "Strong Poem"
48:09 - Chapter 5. Lacan and Bloom on Tony the Tow Truck

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Spring 2009.