The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry

Paperback | December 1, 1996

byHarold Bloom

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Harold Bloom's The Anxiety of Influence has cast its own long shadow of influence since it was first published in 1973. Through an insightful study of Romantic poets, Bloom puts forth his central vision of the relations between tradition and the individual artist. Although Bloom was never theleader of any critical "camp," his argument that all literary texts are a response to those that precede them had an enormous impact on the practice of deconstruction and poststructuralist literary theory in this country. The book remains a central work of criticism for all students of literatureand has sold over 17,000 copies in paperback since 1984. Written in a moving personal style, anchored by concrete examples, and memorably quotable, Bloom's book maintains that the anxiety of influence cannot be evaded--neither by poets nor by responsible readers and critics. This second edition contains a new Introduction, which explains the genesis of Bloom's thinking and the subsequent influence of the book on literary criticism of the past twenty years.criticism of the past twenty years. Here, Bloom asserts that the anxiety of influence comes out of a complex actof strong misreading, a creative interpretation he calls "poetic misprision." The influence-anxiety does not so much concern the forerunner but rather is an anxiety achieved in and by the story, novel, play, poem, or essay. In other words, without Keats's reading of Shakespeare, Milton, andWordsworth, we could not have Keats's odes and sonnets and his two Hyperions. Given the enormous attention generated by Bloom's controversial The Western Cannon, this new edition is certain to find a readymade audience among the new generation of scholars, students, and layreaders interested in the Bloom cannon.

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Harold Bloom's The Anxiety of Influence has cast its long shadow of influence since it was first published in 1973. Through an insightful study of Romantic poets, Bloom puts forth his central vision of the relations between precursors and the individual artist. His argument that all literary texts are a strong misreading of those that ...

From the Publisher

Harold Bloom's The Anxiety of Influence has cast its own long shadow of influence since it was first published in 1973. Through an insightful study of Romantic poets, Bloom puts forth his central vision of the relations between tradition and the individual artist. Although Bloom was never theleader of any critical "camp," his argument ...

From the Jacket

Harold Bloom's The Anxiety Of Influence has cast its long shadow of influence since it was first published in 1973. Through an insightful study of Romantic poets, Bloom puts forth his central vision of the relations between precursors and the individual artist. His argument that all literary texts are a strong misreading of those that ...

Harold Bloom is Sterling Professor of the Humanities at Yale University and Berg Professor of English at New York University. He is the author of numerous publications including A Map of Misreading, Yeats, The Book of J, The American Religion, The Western Canon, and Omens of the Millennium.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 5.2 × 7.8 × 0.31 inPublished:December 1, 1996Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195112210

ISBN - 13:9780195112214

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From Our Editors

Harold Bloom's The Anxiety of Influence has cast its long shadow of influence since it was first published in 1973. Through an insightful study of Romantic poets, Bloom puts forth his central vision of the relations between precursors and the individual artist. His argument that all literary texts are a strong misreading of those that precede them had an enormous impact on the practice of criticism and post-structuralist literary theory. The book remains a central work of criticism for all students of literature. Written in a moving personal style, anchored by concrete examples, and memorable quotations, this second edition of Bloom's classic work maintains that the anxiety of influence cannot be evaded - neither by poets nor by responsible readers and critics. A new introduction, centering upon Shakespeare and Marlowe explains the genesis of Bloom's thinking, and the subsequent influence of the book on literary criticism of the past quarter of a century.

Editorial Reviews

"The most significant work that the gifted scholar-critic, Harold Bloom, has yet written."--Commonweal*