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Class 6 Notes

Page history last edited by Alan Liu 2 years, 8 months ago

Preliminary Class Business


  • Office hours: Thursdays, 3:30-4:30 (South Hall 2521)
  • questions about the papers due Jan. 30th?



       Readings from the New Criticism on our syllabus





1. Practice of New Criticism


Story of arrival of the New Criticism in the classroom at Yale U., 1938-41





    • Some Yale English Dept. faculty members in the late 1930's-1940's who are relevant to the story (History of the Department): Yale Station post office
      • Maynard Mack
      • Louis Martz
      • John Pope
      • Richard Sewald
      • Chauncey Brewster Tinker
      • W. K. Wimsatt
    •  Cleanth Brooks hired at Yale 1947; Robert Penn Warren hired at Yale 1961


Examples of the practical criticism of the New Critics


Example of the heritage of New Critical practice


Example poem for close reading 



2. Origins and Cultural Context of New Criticism


New Criticism Timeline

  • Resource List for Study of the New Criticism (see below)


  • Highlights  of history of the New Criticism:
    • 1915: Meetings in Nashville at house of Sidney Mttron Hirsch with John Crowe Ransom (poet and professor at Vanderbilt U.), his students, and others
    • WW I:  The group reconvenes after the Great War with the addition of new members, including Allen Tate, Robert Penn Warren)
    • 1922: Founding of The Fugitive poetry magazine by the "Fugitive Group"
    • 1925
    • 1930: Publication of I'll Take My Stand ("by twelve Southerners") and formation of the Agrarian movement
    • Late '30's and early '40's: Emergence of the New Criticism as a critical/theoretical movement; launching of Kenyon Review (ed. Ransom) and Southern Review (ed. Brooks) after 1937
    • 1940's: The New Criticism comes to the Yale English Dept (followed by the hiring at Yale of Brooks, Warren, and others)



5. Resource List


  • Louis Cowan, The Fugitive Group: A Literary History (Louisiana State UP, 1959)
  • John L. Stewart, The Burden of Time, The Fugitives and Agrarians: The Nashville Groups of the 1920s and 1930s, and the Writing of John Crowe Ransom, Allen Tate, and Robert Penn Warren (Princeton UP, 1965)
  • Paul K. Conkin, The Southern Agrarians (U. Tennessee Press, 1988)
  • Lewis P. Simpson, ed., The Possibilities of Order: Cleanth Brooks and His Work (Louisiana State UP: Louisiana State University Press, 1976)
  • Richard Foster, The New Romantics: A Reappraisal of the New Criticism (1962; rpt. Kennikat, 1973)
  • RenĂ© Wellek, A History of Modern Criticism, 1750-1950, vol. 6: American New Criticism, 1900-1950 (Yale UP, 1986)
























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