The Fugitives: A Critical Account

By John M. Bradbury | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VIII
Tate as Critic

ALLEN TATE was the first of the Fugitive writers to collect a volume of criticism, and he has remained their leading producer of critical essays. He has printed an imposing number of articles and reviews, published five books of criticism, and reprinted, under his own editorship or in anthologies edited by others, a number of his essays a number of times.

Despite this imposing record, Tate has not proved an original, seminal critic for his generation, as have Eliot, Richards, Edmund Wilson, and Kenneth Burke. His earlier work, both in the Fugitive articles and in his free-lance period in New York, was directly dependent on Eliot. When Eliot's influence waned, the original stimulus of Ransom reasserted itself, now strongly aided by that of Brooks and Warren, who were synthesizing the new critical doctrines. Finally, when he became a convert to Roman Catholicism, Tate moved back toward Eliot, while his further debt to M. Jacques Maritain was both evident and acknowledged.

What has characterized Tate's criticism from the first has been an apostolic fervor; and the firmness, often the dogmatic assurance, of his missionary zeal has inspired a large discipleship. He has, like no other American critic of his time, compelled attention. In an era gone largely over on its intellectual side to Marxist and militantly progressive ideals, he defiantly entitled his first critical volume Reactionary Essays on Poetry and Ideas ( 1936). The belligerence of this opening attack set a tone that has only gradually been modified in the following volumes. The new personal modesty that marks the late work offers a radically different surface effect, but an authoritative

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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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