Frank Kermode, one of the greatest literary critics and scholars, has died in Cambridge at the age of 90. I'm sad.
From his publisher Alan Samson,
"He's probably the greatest literary conversationalist I've ever known - it wasn't just the lectures and the monographs and the books, it's the fact that just talking about a writer he'd say incredibly pithy, intelligent things which would prompt you to go and read them again . . . He knew he had exceptional gifts, but there was a modest manner about him. He knew he was smarter than everyone else, but he was this pipe-smoking, beguiling man who listened to what you had to say ... It's the wreath of pipe smoke, and the benign smile and wisdom, which I'm really going to miss."
If you have never read Kermode, please do yourself a favor.