Bloom, Harold. The Anatomy of Influence: Literature as a Way of Life. New Haven: Yale UP, 2011.
Harold Bloom, who will turn 81 this July, has been one of America's most fascinating literary critics for nearly half a century. In his newest book, The Anatomy of Influence: Literature as a Way of Life, Bloom revisits the ideas that made him a star -- and explains, in a straightforward way, why he's spent his career trying "to build a hedge around the secular Western canon." Bloom argues that it's simply impossible to understand how literature really gets made unless you recognize that some books are head-and-shoulders above the rest. It's the genius of those books, he contends, that powers the whole of literary creation. . . .