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Main page » Non-Fiction » The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry

The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry


   Written in a moving personal style, anchored by concrete examples, and memorable quotes, 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 twenty years Here, Bloom asserts that the anxiety of influence comes out of a complex act of 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, and Wordsworth, we could not have Keats's odes and sonnets and his two Hyperions.


 This new edition is certain to find a responsive audience among the new generation of scholars, students, and lay readers interested in the Bloom canon.


"Bloom has helped to make the study of Romantic poetry as intellectually and spiritually challenging a branch of literary studies as one may find."- The New York Times Book Review

"This book will assuredly come to be valued as a major twentieth-century statement on the subject of tradition and individual talent."- David J. Gordon, The Yale Review

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Tags: literary, central, Influence, Bloom, Anxiety, Anxiety, literary