Clarifying the Anxiety of Influence


Publishers Marketplace reported that prominent literary scholar Harold Bloom recently closed a deal on a new book entitled The Anatomy of Influence. Bloom will “reopen and clarify” his theory of the anxiety of influence and will examine the minds that have most shaped us. In typical door-stopper-book fashion, the text will trace “how our thought extends from the ancient world to the twenty-first century through Western imaginative literature, psychology, religion, and political theory, as well as through social, legal and economic ideas.” The book was sold to Farrar, Straus, and Giroux for publication in the fall of 2008. Glen Hartley at Writers’ Representatives served as the agent in the deal.

I can’t wait. Maybe the book will explain why I creatively misread (and went in the opposite direction) so many key books in attempt to triumph through my anxiety of influence. For example, I read Think and Grow Rich but I zoned out and shrunk to poverty. I read Ten Days to Self- Esteem but it took me three weeks and I hated myself for it. Finally, I read Dale Carnegie and just flat-out became an asshole. Hopefully, Bloom will clarify these readings for me. 

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