Harold Bloom (born July 11, 1930) is an American literary critic and Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University. His books: https://www.amazon.com/Harold-Bloom/e/B000AQ4LU4/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1514508692&sr=1-2-ent&_encoding=UTF8&tag=tra0c7-20&linkCode=ur2&linkId=07ac22401bc33a7a79d4c737e1952d2d&camp=1789&creative=9325
Since the publication of his first book in 1959, Bloom has written more than forty books, including twenty books of literary criticism, several books discussing religion, and a novel. He has edited hundreds of anthologies concerning numerous literary and philosophical figures for the Chelsea House publishing firm. Bloom's books have been translated into more than 40 languages.
Bloom came to public attention in the United States as a commentator during the canon wars of the early 1990s.
In 1986, Bloom credited Northrop Frye as his nearest precursor. He told Imre Salusinszky in 1986: "In terms of my own theorizations ... the precursor proper has to be Northrop Frye. I purchased and read Fearful Symmetry a week or two after it had come out and reached the bookstore in Ithaca, New York. It ravished my heart away. I have tried to find an alternative father in Mr. Kenneth Burke, who is a charming fellow and a very powerful critic, but I don't come from Burke, I come out of Frye."
However, in his 2001 Anatomy of Influence, he wrote "I no longer have the patience to read anything by Frye" and nominated Angus Fletcher among his living contemporaries as his "critical guide and conscience" and elsewhere that year recommended Fletcher's Colors of the Mind and The Mirror and the Lamp by M. H. Abrams. In this latter phase of his career, Bloom has also emphasized the tradition of earlier critics such as William Hazlitt, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walter Pater, A. C. Bradley, and Samuel Johnson, describing Johnson in The Western Canon as "unmatched by any critic in any nation before or after him". In his 2012 Foreword to the book The Fourth Dimension of a Poem (WW Norton, 2012), Bloom indicated the influence which M. H. Abrams had upon him in his years at Cornell University.
Bloom's theory of poetic influence regards the development of Western literature as a process of borrowing and misreading. Writers find their creative inspiration in previous writers and begin by imitating those writers in order to develop a poetic voice of their own; however, they must make their own work different from that of their precursors. As a result, Bloom argues, authors of real power must inevitably "misread" their precursors' works in order to make room for fresh imaginings.
Observers often identified Bloom with deconstruction in the past, but he himself never admitted to sharing more than a few ideas with the deconstructionists. He told Robert Moynihan in 1983, "What I think I have in common with the school of deconstruction is the mode of negative thinking or negative awareness, in the technical, philosophical sense of the negative, but which comes to me through negative theology ... There is no escape, there is simply the given, and there is nothing that we can do."
Bloom's association with the Western canon has provoked a substantial interest in his opinion concerning the relative importance of contemporary writers. In the late 1980s, Bloom told an interviewer: "Probably the most powerful living Western writer is Samuel Beckett. He's certainly the most authentic."
After Beckett's death in 1989, Bloom has pointed towards other authors as the new main figures of the Western literary canon.
Concerning British writers: "Geoffrey Hill is the strongest British poet now active", and "no other contemporary British novelist seems to me to be of Iris Murdoch's eminence". Since Murdoch's death, Bloom has expressed admiration for novelists such as Peter Ackroyd, Will Self, John Banville, and A. S. Byatt.
In his 2003 book, Genius: A Mosaic of One Hundred Exemplary Creative Minds, he named the Portuguese writer and Nobel Prize winner José Saramago as "the most gifted novelist alive in the world today", and as "one of the last titans of an expiring literary genre".
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