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The anxiety of influence is a phrase borrowed from Harold Bloom’s theory of poetry laid out in his book of the same title. Bloom’s primary idea is that every poet is influenced and at the same time hindered by the work of his or her precursor poet and that the attempt to carve a space in the poetic canon creates a level of anxiety within a poet.  Artists suffering from the anxiety of influence feel a sense of belatedness in their work–if only they had lived a generation earlier, then their work would be truly revolutionary!

The influence, however, is not always negative. Reading the great scholars before me provides inspiration, mixed with a great deal of trepidation. With this space, I hope to express my thoughts on the confluence literature, visual arts, and music in contemporary culture.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Wendi Bennett permalink
    October 21, 2009 11:32 pm

    Hi Ian:
    You Mom requested that I read your blog; love your thoughts and adventures. Might see you this week as you dear, sweet mother says you are coming “home”.
    Have a safe trip.
    Wendi

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