The Fugitives: A Critical Account

By John M. Bradbury | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI
Critics and Agrarians

THE DAY ON WHICH Tate's and Ransom's letters crossed, each suggesting that they "do something about Southern history and the culture of the South," was a fateful one. It heralded a new burst of excitement comparable to that of the first days of the magazine project some five or six years earlier. i. In the later twenties and early thirties all of the major group are brought back into close relation, despite a geographic distribution which at times covers two continents. The new enthusiasm is not primarily literary, but for Ransom, Tate, and Warren, at least, the religio-agrarian surface movement is animated from beneath by aesthetic concerns. Tate's phrase, to "do something," is vague enough, but it can be glossed by reference to his own poetic dilemma of the period, as I already have indicated. The "something," then, was to be an attempt to establish, or re-establish, a native tradition or a mythos which could serve as a valid framework for poetry, and to offer a counter‐ movement against the "positivistic" and materialistic forces which a boom economy was encouraging. The agrarian program itself, as well as the reanimation of the Southern historical myth and even the new emphasis on religion, was at bottom a rather desperate effort to set up the preconditions for an integrated life in which poetry might naturally assume a vital role. The impulse originated in an aesthetic dilemma, brought on, as theory had it, by a social situation, but it demanded a philosophic solution which would embrace both aesthetic and social aspects of the problem.

____________________
i.
Tate's tentative date, 1926, seems too early on the evidence of his critical articles and his poetry.

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The Fugitives: A Critical Account
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Fugitives - A Critical Account *
  • Foreword *
  • Acknowledgments *
  • Table of Contents *
  • Chapter I- The Beginnings *
  • Chapter II- The Fugitive *
  • Chapter III- Ransom as Poet *
  • Chapter IV- Apprentice Tate *
  • Chapter V- Other Apprentices *
  • Chapter VI- Critics and Agrarians *
  • Chapter VII- Aesthetic Formalism *
  • Chapter VIII- Tate as Critic *
  • Chapter IX- Ransom as Critic *
  • Chapter X- Tate''s Fiction *
  • Chapter XI- Tate as Poet *
  • Chapter XII- Warren as Poet *
  • Chapter XIII- Warren''s Fiction *
  • Chapter XIV- Brooks and Warren, Critics *
  • Chapter XV- Conclusion *
  • Appendix- The Minor Fugitives *
  • Selected Bibliography *
  • Index *
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