Harold Irving Bloom
Born in New York City on 11 July 1930, Harold Irving Bloom received his B.A. from Cornell University in 1951, and his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1955. He has been employed by Yale University in various capacities since 1955 and has since 1983 been the Sterling Professor of Humanities. He is unquestionably Connecticut's best known literary scholar.
Bloom achieved fame when he published his views of poetry. Unlike many critics before him, Bloom saw poetry as an agonistic — that is, competitive — response to previous poetry. He theorized that "belated" poets, threatened by the potentially overwhelming influence of "precursor" poets, created their own writing by deliberately "misreading" the precursors' work. Furthermore, in works such as The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry (1973), Bloom argued that the Romantic Poets struggled against the influence of John Milton, and modern poets struggled against the influence of the Romantics, leading to a reappraisal of the worthiness of the Romantics as sources for study.
Bloom's most recent book is Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human (1998), a defense of Shakespeare's creation of character and his centrality to the field of humanities, though his most controversial work may well be The Western Canon (1994), a discussion of multiculturalism and what Bloom believes are its deleterious effects on education.
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