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List of Famous Literary Critics

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List of famous literary critics, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top literary critics in the world? This includes the most prominent literary critics, living and dead, both in America and abroad. This list of notable literary critics is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic literary critics were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned literary critics.

List features famous people of literary criticism like Edgar Allan Poe, John Updike and more! Featuring famous book critics of history and the present, this list has it all. 

From reputable, prominent, and well known literary critics to the lesser known literary critics of today, these are some of the best professionals in the literary critic field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous literary critics ever?" and "What are the names of famous literary critics?" then you're in the right place. 
Edgar Allan Poe is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Edgar Allan Poe (; born Edgar Poe; January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American writer, editor, and literary critic. Poe is best known for his poetry and short stories, particularly his ...more

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Jean-Paul Sartre is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre (, US also ; French: [saʁtʁ]; 21 June 1905 – 15 April 1980) was a French philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and ...more

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The Best Jean-Paul Sartre Quotes #115 of 1,176 The Best Writers of All Time #547 of 2,835 The Most Influential People of All Time

T. S. Eliot is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Thomas Stearns Eliot (26 September 1888 – 4 January 1965), "one of the twentieth century's major poets", was also an essayist, publisher, playwright, and literary and social critic. ...more

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The Best T. S. Eliot Quotes #53 of 1,176 The Best Writers of All Time #354 of 2,835 The Most Influential People of All Time

Kevin Hart is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Kevin Darnell Hart (born July 6, 1979) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, and producer. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Hart began his career by winning several amateur ...more

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#41 of 362 The Funniest People Of All Time #403 of 1,139 The Best Actors in Film History #29 of 402 The Funniest Stand Up Comedians Of All Time

John Updike is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
John Hoyer Updike (March 18, 1932 – January 27, 2009) was an American novelist, poet, short-story writer, art critic, and literary critic. One of only three writers to win the Pulitzer Prize for ...more

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#325 of 1,176 The Best Writers of All Time #72 of 177 The Best Short Story Writers of All Time #63 of 341 The Greatest American Writers of All Time

Joyce Carol Oates is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Joyce Carol Oates (born June 16, 1938) is an American writer. Oates published her first book in 1962 and has since published 58 novels, as well as a number of plays and novellas, and many ...more

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Ezra Pound is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Ezra Weston Loomis Pound (30 October 1885 – 1 November 1972) was an expatriate American poet and critic, and a major figure in the early modernist poetry movement. His contribution to poetry ...more

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The Best Ezra Pound Quotes #208 of 1,176 The Best Writers of All Time #1,260 of 2,835 The Most Influential People of All Time

Peter Ackroyd is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Peter Ackroyd, (born 5 October 1949) is an English biographer, novelist and critic with a particular interest in the history and culture of London. For his novels about English history and ...more
Graham Greene is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Henry Graham Greene (2 October 1904 – 3 April 1991), better known by his pen name Graham Greene, was an English novelist regarded by many as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. ...more

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Samuel R. Delany is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Samuel R. Delany (; born April 1, 1942), Chip Delany to his friends, is an African-American author and literary critic. His work includes fiction (especially science fiction), memoir, criticism ...more

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#558 of 1,176 The Best Writers of All Time #57 of 218 The Best Science-Fiction Authors #117 of 256 The Best Gay Authors

Fernando Pessoa is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Fernando António Nogueira Pessoa (Portuguese: [fɨɾˈnɐ̃du pɨˈsoɐ]; 13 June 1888 – 30 November 1935), commonly known as Fernando Pessoa, was a Portuguese poet, writer, literary critic, ...more

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#243 of 1,176 The Best Writers of All Time #431 of 1,471 The Greatest Minds of All Time #8 of 373 The Greatest Poets of All Time

Margaret Atwood is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Margaret Eleanor Atwood (born November 18, 1939) is a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, inventor, teacher, and environmental activist. Since 1961, she has published seventeen ...more

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John Dryden is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
John Dryden (; 19 August [O.S. 9 August] 1631 – 12 May [O.S. 1 May] 1700) was an English poet, literary critic, translator, and playwright who was made England's first Poet Laureate in 1668.He ...more
Edmund White is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Edmund Valentine White III (born January 13, 1940) is an American novelist, memoirist, and an essayist on literary and social topics. Much of his writing is on the theme of same-sex love. His ...more

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#281 of 341 The Greatest American Writers of All Time #57 of 256 The Best Gay Authors #184 of 242 180+ Atheist Authors and Journalists

Edward Said is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Edward Wadie Said (; Arabic: إدوارد وديع سعيد‎ [wædiːʕ sæʕiːd], Idwārd Wadīʿ Saʿīd; 1 November 1935 – 24 September 2003) was a professor of literature at Columbia University, a ...more
Gao Xingjian is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Gao Xingjian (born January 4, 1940) is a Chinese émigré novelist, playwright, and critic who in 2000 was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature "for an oeuvre of universal ...more
Liu Xiaobo is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Liu Xiaobo (Chinese: 刘晓波, 28 December 1955 – 13 July 2017) was a Chinese writer, literary critic, human rights activist, philosopher and Nobel Peace Prize laureate who called for political ...more
Joaquim Maria Machado de... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis (Portuguese: [ʒwɐˈkĩ mɐˈɾi.ɐ mɐˈʃadu dʒi ɐˈsis]), often known by his surnames as Machado de Assis, Machado, or Bruxo do Cosme Velho (21 June 1839 – 29 September ...more
François Mauriac ... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
François Charles Mauriac (French: [moʁjak]; 11 October 1885 – 1 September 1970) was a French novelist, dramatist, critic, poet, and journalist, a member of the Académie ...more
Nicolae Iorga is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Nicolae Iorga (Romanian pronunciation: [nikoˈla.e ˈjorɡa]; sometimes Neculai Iorga, Nicolas Jorga, Nicolai Jorga or Nicola Jorga, born Nicu N. Iorga; 17 January 1871 – 27 November 1940) was a ...more
M. E. Bradford is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Melvin E. "Mel" Bradford was a conservative political commentator and professor of literature at the University of Dallas. Bradford is seen as a leading figure of the paleoconservative ...more
Heinrich Heine is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Christian Johann Heinrich Heine (German: [ˈhaɪnʁɪç ˈhaɪnə]; 13 December 1797 – 17 February 1856) was a German poet, playwright, journalist, essayist, and literary critic. He is best known ...more

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#570 of 2,835 The Most Influential People of All Time #347 of 1,471 The Greatest Minds of All Time #103 of 134 The Most Controversial Writers of All Time

John Gardner is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Not to be confused with John Gardner (British writer)John Champlin Gardner Jr. (July 21, 1933 – September 14, 1982) was an American novelist, essayist, literary critic and university professor. ...more
Steven G. Kellman is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Steven G. Kellman
Steven G. Kellman (born November 15, 1947) is an American critic and academic, best known for his books Redemption:The Life of Henry Roth (2005) and The Translingual Imagination (2000).
Harold Bloom is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Harold Bloom (born July 11, 1930) is an American literary critic and Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University. Since the publication of his first book in 1959, Bloom has written more ...more