Harold Bloom is an American religious and literary critic and theorist, born July 11, 1930, in New York of Jewish emigrees from Russia. Bloom is Sterling Professor of the Humanities and English at Yale University and was previously Berg Professor of English at New York University. As a literary critic his work is generally agreed to have gone through three stages:
- his work on the British Romantic Poets of the 19th century;
- his development of his theory of poetic influence;
- his current writings are directed more towards a popular audience than toward scholars.
His highly significant and influential contribution to literary theory was first presented in The Anxiety of Influence (1973). Largely inspired by Freudian psychoanalytical concepts, The Anxiety of Influence postulates that for creative artists to succeed they must overcome the anxiety produced by the necessity of producing work that is distinct from that of their predecessors. They do this by creatively misreading prior artists in order to form their own unique creative vision.
- Shelley's Mythmaking. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1959.
- The Visionary Company: A Reading of English Romantic Poetry. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1961. Rev. and enlarged ed. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1971.
- Blake's Apocalypse: A Study in Poetic Argument. Anchor Books: New York: Doubleday and Co., 1963.
- Yeats. New York: Oxford University Press, 1970. ISBN 0-19-501603-3
- The Ringers in the Tower: Studies in Romantic Tradition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1971.
- Poetry and Repression: Revisionism from Blake to Stevens. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1976.
- Figures of Capable Imagination. New York: Seabury Press, 1976.
- Wallace Stevens: The Poems of our Climate. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1977.
- Deconstruction and Criticism. New York: Seabury Press, 1980.
- The Flight to Lucifer: Gnostic Fantasy. New York: Vintage Books, 1980. ISBN 0-394-74323-7
- The Breaking of the Vessels. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982.
- The Book of J. Translated from the Hebrew by David Rosenberg; Interpreted by Harold Bloom. New York: Grove Press, 1990 ISBN 0-8021-4191-9
- Ruin the Sacred Truths: Poetry and Belief from the Bible to the Present. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1989.
- The American Religion: The Emergence of the Post-Christian Nation. Touchstone Books; ISBN 0-671-86737-7 (1992; August 1993)
- The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry. New York: Oxford University Press, 1973; 2d ed., 1997. ISBN 0-19-511221-0
- A Map of Misreading. New York: Oxford University Press, 1975.
- Kabbalah and Criticism. New York : Seabury Press, 1975. ISBN 0-8264-0242-9
- Agon: Towards a Theory of Revisionism. New York : Oxford University Press, 1982.
- The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1994.
- Omens of Millennium: The Gnosis of Angels, Dreams, and Resurrection. New York: Riverhead Books, 1996.
- Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human. New York: 1999. ISBN 1-57322-751-X
- Stories and Poems for Extremely Intelligent Children of All Ages. New York: 2001.
- How to Read and Why. New York: 2001. ISBN 0-684-85906-8
- El futur de la imaginació (The Future of the Imagination). Barcelona: Anagrama / Empúries, 2002. ISBN 84-7596-927-5
- Genius: A Mosaic of One Hundred Exemplary Creative Minds. New York: 2003. ISBN 0-446-52717-3
- Hamlet: Poem Unlimited. New York: 2003.
- The Best Poems of the English Language: From Chaucer Through Frost. New York: 2004. ISBN 0-06-054041-9
- Where Shall Wisdom Be Found? New York: 2004. ISBN 1-57322-284-4
- Jesus and Yahweh: The Names Divine. 2005. ISBN 1-57322-322-0
- American Religious Poems: An Anthology. 2006. ISBN 1-931082-74-X