Cleanth Brooks was an American literary critic and professor. . In “The Formalist Critics,” Brooks offers “some articles of faith” (qtd. in Leitch ) to which he subscribes. These articles. “The Formalist Critics.” by Cleanth Brooks. Here are some articles of faith I could subscribe to: That literary criticism is a description and an evaluation of its object . Here1 are some articles of faith I could subscribe to: That literary criticism is a description and an evaluation of its object. That the primary concern of criticism is .

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Brooks writes, on the one hand, “the resistance which any good poem sets up against all attempts to paraphrase it” qtd.

Cleanth Brooks – Wikipedia

He was one of three children: Attending McTyeire School, crutics private academy, he received a forrmalist education and went on to study at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennesseewhere he received his B. Ronald Crane was particularly hostile to the views of Brooks and the other New Critics. Poststructuralists in particular saw a poem’s resistance and warped language as competing with its harmony and balance that Brooks celebrates Leitch For us the real revolution in critical theory From toBrooks held many academic positions and received a number of distinguished fellowships and honorary doctorates.

Wimsatt and Monroe C. Brooks was the central figure of New Criticism, a movement that emphasized structural and textual analysis—close reading—over historical or biographical analysis.

October 16, Murray, KentuckyU. Brooks took this notion of paraphrase and developed it further in his classic The Well Wrought Urn. Brooks argues “through irony, paradox, ambiguity and other rhetorical and poetic devices of his or her art, the poet works constantly to resist any reduction of the poem to a paraphrasable core, favoring the presentation of conflicting facets of theme and patterns of resolved stresses” Leitch This page was last edited on 8 Novemberat New Criticism was accused by critics of having a contradictory nature.



forkalist Inhe worked as a visiting professor at the University brookz Texas, Austin. He argues “A poem by Donne or Marvell does not depend for its success on outside knowledge that we bring to it; it is richly ambiguous yet harmoniously orchestrated, coherent in its own special aesthetic terms” Leitch In the first case, a correct or “standard” reading would become impossible; in the second case, an ideal reader has still formallst assumed under the guise of multiple ideal readers Rivkin From tohe was an English professor at Yale Universitywhere he held the position of Gray Professor of Rhetoric and Gray Tge of Rhetoric Emeritus from until his retirement, except to Singh Because New Criticism isolated the text and excluded historical and biographical contexts, critics argued as early as that Brooks’ approach to criticism was flawed for being overly narrow and for “disabl[ing] any and all attempts to relate literary study to political, social, and cultural issues and debates” By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Inhe married Edith Amy Blanchord. It made sense because it opened up for us a way of talking about an actual poem in an actual classroom, and because the technique of focusing upon a poem as language rather than as history or biography or morality, gave a whole new meaning to books justification for the teaching of poetry qtd. For Brooks, nearly everything a critic evaluates must come from within the text itself. The textbooks failed ceanth show how poetic language differed from the language of an editorial or a work of non-fiction.

During this time, he received the Guggenheim Fellowship and held it again in On the other hand, he admonishes the unity and harmony in a poem’s aesthetics. Untilthey co-edited the journal, publishing works by many influential authors, including Eudora WeltyKenneth Burkeand Ford Madox Ford.

In an obituary for Brooks, John W. The book is a polemic against the tendency for critics to reduce a poem to fofmalist single narrative or didactic message.

Cleanth Brooks

He thee summative, reductionist reading of poetry with a phrase still popular today: From tohe was a fellow of the Library of Congress in Washington, D. At Louisiana State Vrooksprompted by their students’ inability to interpret poetry, the two put together a booklet that modeled close reading through examples Leitch His tenure at Cleabth was marked by ongoing research into Southern literature, which resulted in the publication of Brooks’ studies of William Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha CountyLeitch His reputation suffered in the s and s when criticism of New Criticism increased.

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In the book, the authors assert poetry should be taught as poetry, and the critic should resist reducing a poem to a simple paraphrase, explicating it through biographical or historical contexts, and interpreting it didactically Singh The discussion was based on intensive readings and included considerations of a poem’s form, structure, meter, rhyme scheme, and imagery Singh Beardsley in their famous essay “The Affective Fallacy,” in which they argue teh a critic is “a teacher or explicator of meanings,” not a reporter of “physiological experience” in the reader qtd.

In addition, Brooks’s and Warren’s collaboration led to innovations in the teaching of poetry and literature. Brooks and Warren were teaching using textbooks “full of biographical facts and impressionistic criticism” Singh His forrmalist works, The Well Wrought Urn: She later was able to change his name to Murray Brooks and continued to raise him as her own, causing quite a rift in her own family and alienating herself from Cleanth and William.

Brooks was also the preeminent critic of Southern literaturewriting classic texts on William Faulknerand co-founder of the influential journal The Criyics Review Leitch with Robert Penn Warren. The journal was known for its criticism and creative writing, marking it as one of the leading journals of the time Leitch Studies in the Structure of Poetry Leitch