Frank Kermode, one of the finest of literary critics (I would love, just once, to produce a piece of criticism comparable to his work), died yesterday. The London Review of Books (which will be the worse for his absence) has a commemoration here.
I saw him once, on a panel with Terry Eagleton (my other great critical hero), James Wood and Zadie Smith. It was memorable, to say the least. I wrote about it here.
He was sharp, waspish, devastating, devastatingly funny, knowledgeable, even-handed. If you want the very model of a modern literary critic, look no further.