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I remember the thrill of buying my two-volume set when I chose English Literature as my major, joyfully anticipating the brave new worlds I would discover. No book in my library is more dog-eared, except perhaps my books from childhood. Rest in Peace, Professor Abrams.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/23/books/mh-abrams-professor-who-shaped-the-study-of-romanticism-dies-at-102.html?ref=obituaries

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RIP to Professor Abrams, and to the dogeared and heavily underlined copy of The Mirror and the Lamp that followed me faithfully through college, graduate school, and beyond but finally had to be laid to rest when its binding was beyond repair. The Mirror and the Lamp is Amazon's #1 bestseller in "British and Irish Literary Criticism" after being in print for more than 60 years - quite an achievement, that.

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I'm a huge fan, too, of several of the essays in The Correspondent Breeze.

He made a great contribution to learning--the kind of university he inhabited (and that gave him the time to write The Mirror and the Lamp) is slowly and not-so-slowly disappearing.

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The Mirror and the Lamp is indeed a great book!

And astonishingly influential. From the NYT obit posted by KarenAG:

With “The Mirror and the Lamp,” Professor Abrams almost single-handedly conferred legitimacy on the study of Romantic poetry, which had been held in low regard by the followers of New Criticism, then in its ascendancy. The critic Wayne C. Booth, writing for the collection “High Romantic Argument: Essays for M. H. Abrams” (1981), called Professor Abrams “the best historian of ideas, as ideas relate to literature and literary criticism, that the world has ever known.”

Thank you for posting this, KarenAG. So pleased that he was able to live such a long and rich life.

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And astonishingly influential. From the NYT obit posted by KarenAG:

Thank you for posting this, KarenAG. So pleased that he was able to live such a long and rich life.

You are most welcome, Dirac. And contributes to making our own lives rich and hopefully, long. God bless the arts... and sanity.

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A tribute to Abrams from a former assistant.

And then there was Harold Bloom, his former student. One afternoon he sat in on our Romantics seminar. Before Mike could even introduce him, Bloom grabbed a seemingly unread copy of Visionary Company from the table. “Mike,” he cried, “you didn’t even open the book and I dedicated it to you!” “Not quite right, Harold,” Abrams calmly answered, as he flipped through several pages, pointing out his barely visible “NB” marks in pencil. “But there are only two on this page,” Bloom complained. In an instant, Abrams whipped out his pencil and added two more. “That’s more like it,” Bloom said.

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