Here's a different John. So, Harold Bloom was well-read. The Anxiety of Influence made him famous and is quite short - a fairly easy read. I finally got to it years after hearing of it, and found it a let-down. The basic premise is great - writers have a sort of Oedipal struggle with their overwhelming forebears - and is I think fundamentally true. The execution is less impressive than the premise IMO, heavily opinionated and circling back repeatedly to writers Bloom thinks everyone should go on about - Shakespeare, natch. Wordsworth IIRC. He then wrote a much longer work, The Western Canon, in which he announces who people ought to read and who they don't need to bother reading. I found his list of folks to read somewhat inane and unimaginative - if you read Daniel Boorstin, who has similar interests, his reference points are a tad more unexpected.
Anyway: Bloom was a major player in academia for decades. I never heard anything unpleasant about him - he was at Yale as I recall - and he had certainly read a lot, whatever the disappointments I may find in his thinking. RIP.