Buy New
$15.34
Qty:1
  • List Price: $19.99
  • Save: $4.65 (23%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
The Anxiety of Influence:... has been added to your Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry Paperback – April 10, 1997


See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$15.34
$11.37 $6.26

The Complete Poetry by Maya Angelou
The Complete Poetry
Timeless and prescient, this definitive compendium of Maya Angelou's poetry introduces new readers to the legendary poet. Learn more | See related books
$15.34 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.


Frequently Bought Together

The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry + The Anatomy of Influence: Literature as a Way of Life + The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages
Price for all three: $49.36

Buy the selected items together
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 2 edition (April 10, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195112210
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195112214
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.3 x 5.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,147 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


From reviews of the first edition:
"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


About the Author

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.

Customer Reviews

Yes Bloom is a great and inspiring critic, a great creator himself.
Shalom Freedman
While others, stoically self-critical, will find themselves reading a completely different book, and a glorious one at that.
Alexander
Even with all his love of agon, he wouldn't insult Socrates by making such comparison.
Jack Wonder

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

102 of 125 people found the following review helpful By Alexander on June 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
It would be unfair to suggest that anyone who disagrees with Bloom is simply suffering from the escapist, repressive anxiety of which he claims to be a theorist. Likewise, it would be a circular argument to say that anyone who finds Bloom's stance self-defeating is merely an anxious ephebe trying to justify their own mediocrity, to dissemble their own belatedness, to obscure the deeper issues of poetic originality.
Or would it?
I've been ridiculed for saying this, but *The Anxiety of Influence* is a very harsh, very difficult little book. And yes, most writers *do* tend to shrug it off with defensive laughter and glib overconfidence. "Bloom's theories don't apply to me, after all. *I* don't feel the anxiety of which he speaks. I'm as young as Adam in the literary Garden of Eden, and my work is as important and worthwhile as I wish it to be." Thus tolls the death-knell of the M.F.A. student in Creative Writing.
Bloom's vision of the Canon has nothing to do with a required list of books, with the "carrion-eaters" of Tradition, paying uncritical knee-tribute to precedents and precursors. Bloom is simply reminding us that literature is not created in a vacuum of Edenic self-deception (the bland, cheeky optimism of the writing workshop), but rather in the poetomachia of the solitary apprentice testing himself against the creations of the past and present, a gladiatorial dialogue with the collective personae of Anteriority. In other words, the greatest literature is in competition with *itself*, an internalized version of the Canon that each strong poet carries within.
Read more ›
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Shalom Freedman HALL OF FAME on October 18, 2004
Format: Paperback
Yes Bloom is a great and inspiring critic, a great creator himself. Yes, Bloom's work is filled with tremendously interesting insights into Literature,remarkable unexpected connections between creators who seemed so distant from each other.

No, Literature does not follow the simple law of progression, or the simple Law of a creator's strong reaction to the strong creators before. There are figures in Literature who in some way seem to be reacting to no one( Hopkins is one good example) and figures whose whole discourse is in absorbing the creation of others not to transcend them but to celebrate them.( Borges) There are also creators who however they may be influenced by others, as Kafka was influenced by Dickens and perhaps Kierkegaard, have such a unique way of seeing the world that they seem to be born of themselves. In Literature it is not necessary always to stand on the shoulders of Giants much less knock the Giant down if one is to move forward.

The laws of literary creation are as mysterious and individual as the next new voice which comes to the world. Quixote may over- ride the romantic chivalrous literature Cervantes parodies but he does this in a comically humane way that no one before or since has or could surpass.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tim Jewell on May 20, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
No, Bloom's book is not fun in the traditional sense of the word; rather, it is a fun way to peer into the psychological tropes that govern poetic composition and an enjoyable method to use when analyzing poetic texts. I used the book as a foundation for writing a paper about John Milton's influence on 18th-century English poet Thomas Gray, and each stage of poetic growth that Bloom discusses provides endless possibilities for explicating the meta-textual meanings of any poem when placed in context to its predecessors. Bloom's writing style is highly erudite and may seem dauntingly academic at first, but his ideas are often very clear and proceed in a highly logical manner (despite various tangents about the origins of Bloom's chosen terms).

The book may require more than one close reading to fully understand Bloom's dense and complex theory, but in each read, one finds more passages fulfill the book's overarching thesis. The book may not be of much use to someone who is not interested in poetry or literary studies, but worth a read if you're into studying poetry or literary critical theory of any type. Bloom is also one of our century's most important (if debated) critics, and should be required reading for all interested in English literature and theory.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "Sadra" on July 21, 2011
Format: Paperback
There are some books which are difficult to grasp and understand fully because of their complex content and others because they are poorly written. For me, this falls into the former category. I think this is an important book far beyond the study of literature and poetry. I was first alerted to it in a book by Richard Rorty who drew on it for broader philosophical and cultural insights and that is where I see its value. I have no idea if it works as a "theory" of poetry but it certainly captures one important aspect of the challenge of cultural and individual change and growth, namely that sometimes both societies and individuals feel the weight of their precursors as inhibiting. Bloom puts this challenge very vividly: it is "the horror of finding oneself to be only a replica, a copy; or becoming only a reader, i.e. drowning in the precursors." Is this perhaps why we readers feel we must write these reviews?
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry
This item: The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry
Price: $19.99 $15.34
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com