Monday, February 26, 2007

The Anxiety of Influence

I borrowed this term from Harold Bloom to describe the effect Carey McWilliams has had on some California writers, academics, and pundits. I just saw a clear expression of that anxiety in this week's issue of The Nation. After reading Gogol, Isaac B. Singer asked, "How is it possible that this man who lived a hundred years before me has stolen so many of my ideas?"

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