The Kenyon Critics: Studies in Modern Literature from the Kenyon Review

The Kenyon Critics: Studies in Modern Literature from the Kenyon Review

The Kenyon Critics: Studies in Modern Literature from the Kenyon Review

The Kenyon Critics: Studies in Modern Literature from the Kenyon Review

Excerpt

The critics included in this book are thirty-three in number, and each is represented by a single writing. They are Kenyon Critics at least for the moment, and in the sense that these writings of theirs are all taken from the twelve volumes of the Kenyon Review of which Volume XII is just now being concluded. The total content would fill about half of one volume, or two average quarterly issues.

The word average is slightly embarrassing. It must be confessed that issues of the magazine which have a uniform content of so high a grade as this do not actually occur in the run of periodical publication. And for a moment a familiar depression settles upon the editor's spirits. He remembers that an issue never did measure up with anything like evenness to the perfection which had been dreamed for it. The feeling is not really relieved by his being morally certain that other magazines also fail to sustain their own highest standards. Nor is there any advantage in his figuring that fifty authors might perhaps have been exhibited instead of the thirty-three here, without sacrifice in the quality; or that the size of the book might have been doubled but for the rule limiting the authors to one item apiece, regardless of how many top-grade authors may have contributed repeatedly to the magazine over the years, and even borne the reputation of being regular contributors. The book in its character of critical anthology, that is to say of extreme miscellany, demands a good deal of its readers as it stands already; so it is big enough. And the fact remains, mortifyingly, that we can issue no book of this sort without ransacking the whole house.

But a better moment succeeds presently to this one. It brings a great flare-up of pride in the achieved body of criticism however long that may have taken to accrue, and subdues every other . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.