Harold Bloom
PASSINGS: Barbara L. Packer
PASSINGS: Barbara L. Packer

Barbara L. Packer, 63, a retired UCLA English professor who specialized in 19th century American literature and was recognized as an authority on Ralph Waldo Emerson, died Dec. 16 at her Los Angeles home, according to the university's English department. She had cancer.Packer, who wrote extensively on Emerson and the Transcendentalists, received wide praise for her 1982 scholarly work "Emerson's Fall: A New Interpretation of the Major Essays."Richard Poirier, a noted literary scholar, critic and publisher, in reviewing the book for the New York Times, called it "brilliant" and noted that Packer "listens to Emerson and catches his modulations of voice better than anyone ever has."Packer...