Harold Bloom: A Grateful Reminiscence

In one of my earliest years as an assistant professor, the man who hired me at SMU brought to campus Harold Bloom (his friend and former colleague at Yale) and Geoffrey Hartman, for a weekend of lectures, seminars, conversations, and meals.

After what was, for me, the intellectual wasteland of my graduate school experience, this weekend provided a shot in the mind’s arm. I was jolted, delighted to be in the presence of men thinking–to quote Emerson–and I was grateful to learn how greatness dealt with greatness, in this case Bloom and Hartman on the Romantic poets and their legacy. Harold had just published The Anxiety of Influence, so we in the audience felt that even in provincial Dallas we were close to the cutting edge.