Sir Frank Kermode, respected literary critic and Shakespearean scholar, has passed away at the age of 90 this week. The information was announced and confirmed by his publisher, Alan Samson.
“He was one of the great conversationalists of our literature,” Samson noted. “His wit and wisdom in speaking about writing is something that I will always remember.”
Kermode was best known for his influential book, “The Sense of an Ending” — a witty meditation on the relationship between fiction and crisis. He was also a respected student of Shakespeare and he would return to the Bard often over the course of his career, which took in everything from the Bible to deconstructionist theory.
“My poetry wasn’t up to much, so there was nothing left for me except to become a critic, preferably with a paying job in a university,” he wrote.
Kermode served as co-editor of Encounter, a British monthly, quitting when he realized the publication was being funded by the CIA. He helped found the London Review of Books, which carries book reviews, essays, political commentary and poetry and for which he wrote more than 200 pieces.
Funeral arrangements were not immediately announced. The London Review of Books said only that Kermode had died Tuesday in Cambridge.
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