Levin, Harry, 1912-1994

Alternative names
Birth 1912-07-18
Death 1994-05-29

Biographical notes:

Correspondence to Lewis and Sophia Mumford from Harry Levin and his wife, Elena Ivanovna Zarudnava Levin.

From the description of Letters, 1973, n.d., to Lewis and Sophia Mumford. (University of Pennsylvania Library). WorldCat record id: 155871479

Harry Levin was an American literary critic, author, and a professor of comparative literature at Harvard University.

From the description of Papers, 1920-1995. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 84670178

Harry Tuchman Levin was an American literary critic, author, and a professor of comparative literature at Harvard University. He was one of the most influential literary critics of the twentieth century and is considered one of the founders of the field of Comparative Literature in the United States.

He was born in 1912 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Isadore Henry and Beatrice Tuchman Levin. He graduated from Harvard with an A.B. in 1933 and began teaching there in 1939. Also in 1939, he married Elena Zarudnaya and they had a daughter, Marina. He was named the Irving Babbitt Professor of Comparative Literature in 1960, a position he held until his retirement in 1983.

Levin wrote on such varied subjects as William Shakespeare, comedy, modernism, and the Renaissance. Some of his major works include: The Power of Blackness: Hawthorne, Poe, Melville, Memories of the Moderns, The Myth of the Golden Age in the Renaissance, Shakespeare and the Revolution of the Times, Playboys and Killjoys: An Essay on the Theory and Practice of Comedy, and many others, covering a broad range of general and comparative literature, as well as specific studies of individual writers and works. In 1985, the first Harry Levin prize was awarded by the American Comparative Literature Association for a book on literary history or criticism.

Harry Levin died in Cambridge, Massashusetts in 1994.

From the guide to the Papers, 1920-1995., (Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University)


Loading Relationships


Ark ID:


  • Literature, Modern- -History and criticism
  • Harvard University--Faculty
  • English wit and humor--History and criticism


  • Literary critics


not available for this record