Literary critic Harold Bloom, 89, died October 14, 2019 in a New Haven CT hospital. Bloom was one of the most famous and controversial critics in America, writing and editing bestselling, influential volumes like The Anxiety of Influence (1973), Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human (1998), The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages (1994), and How to Read and Why (2000). In all he wrote more than 40 books and edited hundreds more.
Bloom wrote one novel, The Flight to Lucifer: A Gnostic Fantasy (1979), but the bulk of his contributions to the field were in the form of critical non-fiction. Books of note he wrote or edited include Mary Shelley (1985), Edgar Allan Poe (1985), Doris Lessing (1986), Ursula K. Le Guin (1986), Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness (1987), Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1987), George Orwell (1987), George Orwell’s 1984 (1987), Classic Horror Writers (1993), Classic Fantasy Writers (1994), Modern Fantasy Writers (1995), Modern Horror Writers (1995), Science Fiction Writers of the Golden Age (1995), Classic Science Fiction Writers (1995), Stephen King (1998), Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five (2001), Isabel Allende (2002), Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (2004, with Albert A. Berg), George Orwell’s 1984 (2004, with Albert A. Berg), Frankenstein (2004), Short Story Writers and Short Stories (2005), The Lord of the Rings (2008), and Ray Bradbury (2010).
Harold Bloom was born July 11, 1930 in the Bronx NY. He attended Cornell on a scholarship, graduating in 1951. He did his graduate work at Yale, writing his doctorate on Romanticism. He joined faculty at Yale in the humanities, teaching his last class just days before his death. He also taught at New York University. In 1985 he received a “genius grant” from the MacArthur Foundation. Bloom is survived by his wife Jeanne Gould, married 1958, and two sons.