René Wellek Monroe K. Spears - Essay

Monroe K. Spears

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[For] more than a quarter-century Mr. Wellek has been both teacher and intellectual physician for critics, theorists, and historians of literature. Most Americans who aspire to criticism have learned from him, and many of us feel that literary studies would be in a healthier condition if we had learned more. His role has been unique and indispensable. As critic of critics, he has striven not to propagate any dogma in terms of which other dogmas are to be judged, but rather to remind those who practice criticism that their vision of the truth is partial, their assumptions and methods not forever valid but limited and imperfect. Against all varieties of parochialism, patriotism, and dogmatic complacency, he has...

(The entire section is 1208 words.)