O'Hara Gets no Respect

Or, Bloom's New Book
Gets it Bloomin' Wrong

JOH is the Rodney Dangerfield of American literature. You remember Rodney, the comedian who couldn't get any 'respect'?

So it goes to O'Hara -- again and again.

Most recently, lack of O'Hara recognition cropped up in the just-published Bloom's Literary Guide to New York, an interesting review of New York writers, published by Checkmark Books and overseen editorially by Harold Bloom, the controversial Yale professor.

It seems that Bloom (he of many faults) has another -- myopia. Unless I'm suffering from the very same disease (please, let me know!), I wasn't able to find any reference to O'Hara in the 222-page text. No mention of the author of such quintissential New York oeuvres as Butterfield 8, Pal Joey, and others in the canon! No mention of an author who roamed New York and its journalistic and literary corridors (hello, The New Yorker) like no other.

Bloom apparently suffers from another killer disease -- Alfred-Kazin-ism. Like Kazin, Bloom is a member of an insufferable post-WAr II (my God, these guys still alive!) New York clavel of anti-O'Hara-ites who never forgave O'Hara not championing -- or katowing to -- their histography of Jewish New York.

You know the rest.

-- Richard Carreño

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