René Wellek Denis Donoghue - Essay

Denis Donoghue

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

The new volumes [of A History of Modern Criticism 1750–1950, Vol. III: The Age of Transition and Vol. IV: The Later Nineteenth Century] are even wider in scope than the old, annexing America and Russia as countries of the critical mind. There is the same evidence of erudition, intelligence, concern. There is also evidence of great structural power. The new volumes are organised according to nationality; criticism in France, Italy, England, America, Germany, Russia, and Denmark (Georg Brandes the Great Dane). (p. 80)

Mr. Wellek is the most patient of scholars, but he is often irritated, it seems, by the fumbling critics, their gaucherie, playing games without learning the rules....

(The entire section is 1120 words.)