René Wellek Ronald Hafter - Essay

Ronald Hafter

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

René Wellek's massive study [A History of Modern Criticism] has already gained wide acceptance as the best survey of its kind to be produced in our century; despite its narrow scope it is far superior to George Saintsbury's erudite but rambling History of Criticism, the only work by a single author with which it might be legitimately compared, in its incisive analysis of the grounds on which literary judgments have been made and in its dispassionate appraisals of individual critics and movements. But if it is an essential text for the student of literature it is no less so for one interested in the history of ideas, for Wellek discusses criticism within the wider context of the movement of ideas and...

(The entire section is 716 words.)