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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Archived from crifics original on At Louisiana State Universityprompted by their students’ inability to interpret poetry, the two put together a booklet that modeled close reading through examples Leitch Brooks was the central figure of New Criticism, a movement that emphasized structural and textual analysis—close reading—over historical or biographical analysis.

Cleanth Brooks

Retrieved from ” https: The Fugitive Movement similarly influenced Brooks’ approach to criticism. InBrooks received his M. For Brooks, nearly everything a critic evaluates must come from within the text itself.

Arthur Mizener commended Brooks and Warren for offering a new way of teaching poetry:. In “The Formalist Critics,” Brooks offers “some articles of faith” qtd. For us the real revolution in critical theory Views Read Edit View history.

Beardsley in their famous essay “The Affective Fallacy,” in which they argue that a critic is “a teacher or explicator of meanings,” not a reporter of “physiological experience” in the reader qtd. Further, Stevenson admits Brooks was “the person who brought excitement and passion to the study of literature” and “whose work October 16, Murray, KentuckyU. Studies in the Structure of Poetry and Modern Poetry and the Traditionargue for the centrality of ambiguity and paradox as a way of understanding poetry.

Brooks advocates close reading because, as he states in The Well Wrought Urn”by making the closest examination of what the poem says as a poem” qtd. Inhe was a fellow fomalist the Kenyon School of English.


Cleanth and Criticss, natural born sons, and Murray Brooks, actually born Hewitt Witherspoon, whom Bessie Lee Witherspoon kidnapped from her brother Forrest Bedford Witherspoon as a young baby after the natural mother had died. Further, Winchell praises Brooks for “help[ing] invent the modern literary quarterly” through the success of The Southern Review.

With his writing, Brooks helped to formulate formalist criticismemphasizing “the interior cleajth of a poem” Leitch and codifying the principles of close reading. In a conversation lasting several hours, Brooks and Faulkner spent most of their time discussing dogs and coon hunting.

In fact, he argued poetry serves no didactic purpose because producing some kind of statement would be counter to a poem’s purpose.

Cleanth Brooks – Wikipedia

Cleanth mentioned on more than one occasion that she so doted on Murray Hewitt that she no longer had a relationship with Cleanth and William. He was one of three children: For Brooks and Warren, paraphrase and biographical and historical background information is useful as a means of clarifying interpretation, but it should be used as means to an end Singh He says that “a detailed description of my emotional state on reading certain works has little to do with indicating to an interested reader what the work is and how the parts of it are related” Rivkin In the first case, a correct or “standard” reading would become impossible; in the second case, an ideal reader has still been assumed under the guise of multiple ideal readers Rivkin Studying with Ransom firmalist Warren, Brooks became involved in two significant literary movements: These seemingly contradictory forces in a poem create tension and paradoxical irony according to Brooks, ccleanth critics questioned whether irony leads to a poem’s unity or undermines it Leitch Elsewhere, Ransom has even gone so far as to describe Brooks as a “spell binder” qtd.

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 textbooks failed to show how poetic language differed from the language of an editorial or a work of non-fiction.


Studies in the Structure of Poetry Leitch The journal was known for its criticism and creative writing, marking it as one of the leading journals of the time Leitch His best-known works, The Clfanth Wrought Urn: 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 vleanth overly narrow and for “disabl[ing] any and all attempts to relate literary study to political, social, and cultural issues and debates” In an obituary for Brooks, John W.

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 The discussion was based on intensive readings and included considerations of a poem’s form, structure, meter, rhyme scheme, and imagery Singh This approach to criticism, Brooks argued, “denied the authority of the work” Leitch He describes summative, reductionist reading of poetry with a phrase still popular today: Brooks’ two most influential works also came out of the success of the booklet: Wimsatt and Monroe C.

Attending McTyeire School, a private academy, he received a classical education and went on to study at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennesseewhere he received his B. Brooks and Warren were teaching using textbooks “full of biographical facts and impressionistic criticism” Singh Inhe married Edith Amy Blanchord.

Murray, KentuckyU.