Posted on October 15, 2019 at 9:32 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Harold Bloom, perhaps the most famous literary critic of our time, passed away Monday.

Bloom, who was eighty-nine, continued to teach at Yale University until the week before his death, according to his NPR obituary.

His breakthrough work came in 1973; The Anxiety of Influence theorized that artists “denied and distorted their literary ancestors while producing work that revealed an unmistakable debt,” in the words of the Guardian.

Bloom’s other notable works included the bestsellers The Western Canon and The Book of J, the latter of which argues that a woman may have written much of the Hebrew Bible.

It’s an interesting contrast to the reputation he gained — and embraced — for being a bit of a traditionalist and an elitist.

To be fair, though, he also spoke warmly of such contemporary and diverse writers as Ursula K. Le Guin (whom he deemed better than J.R.R. Tolkien), Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, and Amy Tan.

Learn more about Bloom's early life and career in his obituaries in the Guardian and NPR.

Categories: Today in Books

Tagged As: NPR, Obituary, The Guardian

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