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

By John Crowe Ransom | Go to book overview

Introduction

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

-vii-

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The Kenyon Critics: Studies in Modern Literature from the Kenyon Review
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • Essays 1
  • The Sorrows Of Thomas Wolfe 3
  • Pure And Impure Poetry 12
  • Myth And Dialectic in the Later Novels Of Henry James 17
  • Kafka's Distorted Mask 58
  • Joyce's Ulysses and the French Public 75
  • Robartes And Aherne: Two Sides of a Penny 88
  • The Stone And The Crucifixion: Faulkner's - Light in August 115
  • Emotions In Poems 127
  • Monsieur Verdoux As Theatre 138
  • The Good Ford 151
  • Parody And Critique: Notes on Thomas Mann's - Doctor Faustus 182
  • Novel into Film: - All the King's Men 225
  • Wordsworth And the Iron Time 233
  • Book Reviews 253
  • The Loud Hill Of Wales 255
  • Q's Revisions 259
  • The Whole Of Housman 263
  • Neither Historian nor Critic 267
  • The Humble Animal 277
  • Satan And Denis De Rougemont 281
  • The Everlasting Mr. Huxley 289
  • Dry Watershed 298
  • The Hellenism Of Robinson Jeffers 307
  • The Cost Of Distraction 312
  • Aristocracy And/Or Christianity 324
  • Bibliography 341
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