Harold Bloom

American literary critic, scholar, and writer (1930-2019)

Harold Bloom (July 11, 1930October 14, 2019) was an American literary critic and writer. He was Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University, a former Professor of English at New York University, and the author of more than twenty-five books.

Harold Bloom (Agon portrait).jpg


  • I realized early on that the academy and the literary world alike — and I don't think there really is a distinction between the two — are always dominated by fools, knaves, charlatans and bureaucrats.
    • Interview in Criticism in Society (1987), edited by Imre Salusinski.
  • Lucretius and his tradition taught Shelley that freedom came from understanding causation.
    • The Anatomy of Influence (2011), p. 142.
  • Shelley, who in Prometheus Unbound had observed that the wise lack love and those who have love lack wisdom, went to his end in The Triumph of Life asking why good and the means of good were irreconcilable.
    • The Anatomy of Influence (2011), p. 142.
  • Hamlet, Kiekegaard, Kafka are ironists in the wake of Jesus. All Western irony is a repetition of Jesus' enigmas/riddles, in amalgam with the ironies of Socrates.
    • Jesus and Yahweh: the names divine (2005), p 10.
  • The outward limit of human achievement.
  • My dear, that won't do.
    • Rebuke to students who wrote bad essays.
    • As quoted in The Economist, October 26th 2019, page 86.

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