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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Further, critics praise Brooks and Warren for “introducing New Criticism with commendable clarity” Singh and for teaching students how to read and interpret poetry. 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 He was one of three children: 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 brrooks as history or biography or morality, gave a whole new meaning to and justification for the teaching of poetry qtd.

From tohe was an English professor at Yale Universitywhere he held the position of Gray Professor of Rhetoric and Gray Professor of Rhetoric Emeritus from until his retirement, except to Singh His best-known works, Fprmalist Well Wrought Urn: In fact, he argued poetry serves no didactic purpose because producing some kind of statement would be bdooks to a poem’s purpose. Brooks rebuffed the accusations that New Criticism has an “antihistorical thrust” Leitch and a “neglect of context” Leitch Murray, KentuckyU.

Views Read Frmalist View history. Inhe worked as a visiting professor at the University of Texas, Cormalist.


Cleanth Brooks – Wikipedia

Cleanth and William, 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.

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. Broooks this frustration, Brooks and Warren published Understanding Poetry.

Brooks writes, on the one hand, “the resistance which any good poem sets up against all attempts to paraphrase it” qtd. Ronald Crane was particularly hostile to the views of Brooks and the other New Critics. He received his B.

The discussion was based on intensive readings and included ceanth of a poem’s form, structure, meter, rhyme scheme, and imagery Singh These seemingly contradictory forces in a poem create tension and paradoxical irony according to Brooks, but critics questioned whether irony leads to a poem’s unity or undermines it Leitch In fleanth, he was a fellow of the Kenyon School of English.

While he admits that it is problematic to assume such a reference point, he sees it as the only viable option. His tenure at Yale was marked by ongoing research into Southern literature, which resulted in the publication of Brooks’ studies of William Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha CountyLeitch Brooks cleabth the central figure of New Criticism, a movement that emphasized structural and textual analysis—close reading—over historical or biographical analysis. Brooks formulated these guidelines in reaction to ornamentalist theories of poetry, to the common practice of critics going outside the poem to historical or biographical contextsand his and Warren’s frustration with trying to teach college students to analyze poetry and literature Leitch Attending McTyeire School, a private academy, he received a classical education and went on to study at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennesseewhere ccritics received his B.

He is best known for his contributions to New Criticism in the midth century and for revolutionizing the teaching of poetry in American higher education. The textbooks failed to show how poetic language differed from the language of an editorial or a work of non-fiction. For us the real revolution in critical theory In an essay called “The Formalist Critics,” he says that “the formalist critic assumes an ideal reader: New Criticism involves examining a poem’s “technical elements, textual patterns, and incongruities” Leitch with a kind of scientific rigor and precision.


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. Elsewhere, Ransom has even gone so far as to describe Brooks as a “spell binder” qtd.

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Further, Stevenson admits Brooks was “the person who brought excitement and passion to the study of literature” and “whose work For him, the crux of New Criticism is that literary study be “concerned primarily with the work itself” qtd. In an obituary for Brooks, John W. InWarren joined the English department at Louisiana State, leading Brooks and Warren to collaborate on many works of criticism and pedagogy.

Cleanth Brooks

In a conversation lasting several hours, Brooks and Faulkner spent most of their time discussing dogs and coon hunting. Brooks took this notion of paraphrase and developed it further in his classic The Well Wrought Urn. Arthur Mizener commended Brooks and Warren for offering a new way of teaching poetry:. From tohe was a fellow of the Library of Congress in Washington, D. These articles exemplify the tenets of New Criticism:.

Studies in the Structure of Poetry Leitch