The Anatomy of Influence; Literature as a Way of Life

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  • Format: Trade Book
  • Copyright: 2011-05-03
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
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"Literary criticism, as I attempt to practice it," writes Harold Bloom inThe Anatomy of Influence, "is in the first place literary, that is to say, personal and passionate." For more than half a century, Bloom has shared his profound knowledge of the written word with students and readers. In this, his most comprehensive and accessible study of influence, Bloom leads us through the labyrinthine paths which link the writers and critics who have informed and inspired him for so many years. The result is "a critical self-portrait," a sustained meditation on a life lived with and through the great works of the Western canon:Why has influence been my lifelong obsessive concern? Why have certain writers found me and not others? What is the end of a literary life? Featuring extended analyses of Bloom's most cherished poetsShakespeare, Whitman, and Craneas well as inspired appreciations of Emerson, Tennyson, Browning, Yeats, Ashbery, and others,The Anatomy of Influenceadapts Bloom's classic workThe Anxiety of Influenceto show us what great literature is, how it comes to be, and why it matters. Each chapter maps startling new literary connections that suddenly seem inevitable once Bloom has shown us how to listen and to read. A fierce and intimate appreciation of the art of literature on a scale that the author will not again attempt,TheAnatomy of Influencefollows the sublime works it studies, inspiring the reader with a sense of something ever more about to be.

Author Biography

Harold Bloom, Sterling Professor of the Humanities at Yale University, is the world-renowned author of thirty-eight books. His publications include his New York Times best sellers The Western Canon, Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human, and The Book of J, as well as his pioneering studies A Visionary Company and The Anxiety of Influence. He is a MacArthur Prize Fellow, a member of the Academy of Arts and Letters, and the recipient of many awards and honorary degrees.

Table of Contents

Praeludiump. ix
The Point of view for My Work as a Critic
Literary Lovep. 3
Sublime Strangenessp. 16
The Influence of a Mind on Itselfp. 25
Shakespeare, the Founder
Shakespeare's Peoplep. 35
The Rival Poet: King Learp. 48
Shakespeare's Ellipsis: The Tempestp. 62
Possession in Many Modes: The Sonnetsp. 78
Hamlet and the Art of Knowingp. 87
Milton's Hamletp. 94
Joyce…Dante…Shakespeare…Miltonp. 109
Dr. Johnson and Critical Influencep. 126
The Skeptical Sublime
Anxieties of Epicurean Influence: Dryden, Pater, Milton, Shelley, Tennyson, Whitman, Swinburne, Stevensp. 133
Leopardi's Lucretian Swervep. 162
Shelley's Heirs: Browning and Yeatsp. 172
Whose Condition of Fire? Merrill and Yeatsp. 194
Whitman and the Death of Europe in the Evening Land
Emerson and a Poetry Yet to Be Writtenp. 209
Whitman's Tallyp. 218
Death and the Poet: Whitmanian Ebbingsp. 235
Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction of the Romantic Selfp. 248
Near the Quick: Lawrence and Whitmanp. 255
Hand of Fire: Hart Crane's Magnificencep. 266
Whitman's Prodigals: Ashbery, Ammons, Merwin, Strand, Charles Wrightp. 294
Codap. 334
Acknowledgmentsp. 337
Creditsp. 338
Indexp. 341
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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