For more than half a century, Harold Bloom has shared his profound knowledge of the written word with students and readers. In this, his most comprehensive and accessible study of influence, Bloom leads us through the labyrinthine paths that link the writers and critics who have informed and inspired him for so many years. The result is "a critical self-portrait," a sustained meditation on a life lived with and through the great works of the "Western canon. Featuring extended analyses of Blooms most cherished poets- Shakespeare, Whitman, and Crane-as well as inspired appreciations of Emerson, Tennyson, Browning, Yeats, Ashbery, and others, The Anatomy of Influence adapts Blooms classic work The Anxiety of Influence to show us what great literature is, how it comes to be, and why it matters. Book jacket.