F. R. Leavis George A. Panichas - Essay

George A. Panichas

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

For the shortcomings in Leavis' criticism we have cause for regret. Magnanimity, after all, is not without its place in the humane tradition of learning. But genius, mutatis mutandis, has its failings. In the end, I think, we shall remember Leavis (and Scrutiny) not for his hardness, or his harassments, but for disciplining us in how to read; for trying to save us from that "spiritual Philistinism" with its "implicit belief that the only reality we need take account of in ordering human affairs is what can be measured, aggregated and averaged"; for helping us to travel beyond the shadow line separating what is dull and dead from what is compellingly alive in our responses to literature as it has its...

(The entire section is 1243 words.)