The Fugitives: A Critical Account

By John M. Bradbury | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIV
Brooks and Warren, Critics

FOR A NUMBER of years now, Cleanth Brooks, Jr., has been regarded as the American exemplar of the " New Criticism." In so far as the movement is characterized by its emphasis on linguistic analysis, and in so far as it implies a strain of dogmatism, a "school" of criticism, Brooks's reputation is justly acquired. Certainly no other critic of an aesthetic formalist bias has exerted so much influence on younger men or on college programs (though Warren must be associated with much of the influence) and no other has been engaged in so many public skirmishes over his "approaches" and his readings of literary works.

Like the original Fugitives, Brooks began in college to write poetry under the influence of Ransom, but the magazine excitement had died by the time he became an upperclassman. A native of Kentucky like Tate and Warren, a Rhodes Scholar like Ransom and Warren, Brooks was to become a teacher like all the others, though more directly and immediately. He was already on the faculty at Louisiana State University when Warren joined him there in the highly fruitful collaboration that produced The Southern Review and the volumes on Understanding Poetry and Understanding Fiction.

From the beginning in The Southern Review, Brooks was the synthesizer, the applier, and, to a lesser extent, the extender of critical ideas and methods derived from Tate and other "new critics." All of this early work, which was to be collected in his volume Modern Poetry and the Tradition ( 1939), is valuable, and all but indispensable for comprehension of the ways and means of aesthetic formalist criticism. In the previous

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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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