Harold Bloom, a bestselling literary critic and Yale University professor, died on Monday at the age of 89, The New York Times reports. Bloom, often considered to be the most notorious literary critic in America, took shots at modern literary trends while upholding the Western canon. William Shakespeare, Geoffrey Chaucer, and Franz Kafka were among the many writers he championed throughout his career. “Shakespeare is God,” he once wrote, asserting that Shakespeare’s characters have shaped what people perceive to be “human” in his book Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human. In The Book of J, he also argued that the Judeo-Christian God was a literary character invented by a woman who wrote sections of the Old Testament.
Jeanne Bloom, his wife, told the newspaper that the critic taught his last class at Yale on Thursday before passing away in a New Haven hospital. According to the Yale Daily News, Bloom was teaching two courses for undergraduates during the fall semester: “Shakespeare and the Canon: Histories, Comedies, and Poems” and “Poetic Influence from Shakespeare to Keats.” He is survived by his wife and two sons, Daniel and David.