F. R. Leavis John Fraser - Essay

John Fraser

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

That Dr. Leavis approaches literature with a singular intensity is presumably by now a commonplace; and the intensity is usually thought of, I imagine, as manifesting itself primarily in Dr. Leavis's insistence upon the need for making continual strenuous discriminations and in the rather rigorous kind of engagement that he has often been involved in with other critics. But what is equally important, and much less frequently remarked upon, is that the intensity derives, fundamentally, from his no less formidable willingness to respond to a literary work with a completeness and an essential humility that are, one dares to say, all too rare at the present time…. [Dr. Leavis] approaches a literary work … as...

(The entire section is 1040 words.)