Stock Image

The Shadow of a Great Rock: A Literary Appreciation of the King James Bible

Bloom, Harold

112 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0300166834 / ISBN 13: 9780300166835
Published by Yale University Press, U.S.A., 2011
Used Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Daniel Montemarano (Newfield, NJ, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since November 23, 2001

Quantity Available: 1

Buy Used
Price: US$ 48.50 Convert Currency
Shipping: US$ 4.95 Within U.S.A. Destination, Rates & Speeds
Add to basket

30 Day Return Policy

About this Item

1st Edition/1st Printing. SIGNED by author on a bookplate affixed to title page (signature only). $28.00 price present on DJ flap; mylar protected. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 029116

Ask Seller a Question

Bibliographic Details

Title: The Shadow of a Great Rock: A Literary ...

Publisher: Yale University Press, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2011

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


The King James Bible stands at "the sublime summit of literature in English," sharing the honor only with Shakespeare, Harold Bloom contends in the opening pages of this illuminating literary tour. Distilling the insights acquired from a significant portion of his career as a brilliant critic and teacher, he offers readers at last the book he has been writing "all my long life," a magisterial and intimately perceptive reading of the King James Bible as a literary masterpiece.

Bloom calls it an "inexplicable wonder" that a rather undistinguished group of writers could bring forth such a magnificent work of literature, and he credits William Tyndale as their fountainhead. Reading the King James Bible alongside Tyndale's Bible, the Geneva Bible, and the original Hebrew and Greek texts, Bloom highlights how the translators and editors improved upon—or, in some cases, diminished—the earlier versions. He invites readers to hear the baroque inventiveness in such sublime books as the Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, and Job, and alerts us to the echoes of the King James Bible in works from the Romantic period to the present day. Throughout, Bloom makes an impassioned and convincing case for reading the King James Bible as literature, free from dogma and with an appreciation of its enduring aesthetic value.

From the Author:

From the Introduction:

The largest aesthetic paradox of the KJB is its gorgeous exfoliation of the Hebrew original. Evidently the KJB men knew just enough Hebrew to catch the words but not the original music. Their relative ignorance transmuted into splendor because they shared a sense of literary decorum that all subsequent translators seem to lack. Miles Coverdale, bare both of Hebrew and of Greek, set a pattern that Miles Smith perfected. It is another of the many paradoxes of the KJB that its elaborate prose harmonies essentially were inaugurated by Coverdale’s intuitive journey into the poems and prophecies his master Tyndale did not live to translate. We have Tyndale’s Jonah and a medley of prophetic passages, eleven from Isaiah, in the Epistle Taken out of the Old Testament. How wonderful it would be to have Job, Ecclesiastes, and Jeremiah from the hand of Tyndale, though probably that would have prevented Coverdale’s astonishing flair for style and rhythm from manifesting itself. This flair was unsteady, yet at its best it gave us something of the sonority we associate with KJB.

Tyndale, Coverdale, and the Geneva translators (including their best Hebraist, Gilby) all possessed the gift of literary authority. Their revisionist, Miles Smith, explicitly displays his sense of style in the 1611 preface, “The Translators to the Reader,” and implicitly stands forth by his editorial responsibility for the ways in which the KJB men handle their inheritance from previous English Bibles. Again paradox intervenes: from Tyndale through KJB the quest is to get closer to the literal sense of the Hebrew, while the consequence is to increase a cognitive music farther and farther away in regard to the Hebrew Bible’s relative freedom from metaphors. Since all metaphor is a kind of mistake anyway, even the plain errors of the KJB sometimes add to the resultant splendor.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Store Description

I am not a professional bookseller. I am disposing my personal library of signed first editions and autographs, collected as a hobby over the past 55 years.

Visit Seller's Storefront

Terms of Sale:

We accept direct payments by check or money order or PAYPAL (PayPal payment must be done within three days or order will be cancelled). Visa & MasterCard accepted through ABE E-COMMERCE program (seller does not handle credit card processing directly). Returns accepted, in same condition, within 10 days of receipt if item is not as described (contact first). Scans available. No dealer discounts. Prices listed are firm---no 'best offer' inquiries please. Also: I DO NOT SHIP TO NJ ADDRESSES.

Shipping Terms:

Shipping costs are based on books weighing 2.2 LB, or 1 KG. If your book order is heavy or over-sized, we may request extra shipping. Also: overseas shipments of books valued over $100 may require request for extra postage since they will be shipped by Priority Mail which has tracking. Also: Please be patient since shipping times given are estimates only and delays in postal system (and customs for international orders) are possible--times given are not guaranteed delivery times. Orders over $200 will require signature confirmation with delivery. Also note: Do no accept or ship any item ordered overseas that is valued under $25 (and certain countries excluded due to past delivery problems).

List this Seller's Books

Payment Methods
accepted by seller

Visa Mastercard American Express

Check Money Order PayPal