F. R. Leavis Martin Jarrett-Kerr - Essay

Martin Jarrett-Kerr

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[What] is the immediate and total impression of [The Common Pursuit]? Dr. Leavis's criticism is nothing if not personal (the word is not meant in a depreciatory sense); my assessment of it will therefore be personal too. Re-reading, then, in one volume essays which (most of them) I had read before scattered over several years, the effect for me was—let me say frankly—one of a profound satisfaction. To describe the satisfaction a little more precisely I should say that it was the satisfaction of seeing a pavement well-laid. The individual stones one had noticed before, and they were of pleasing shape and colour; but now that they can be taken in as a whole there is the added pleasure of observing that they...

(The entire section is 1474 words.)