Van Wyck Brooks F. R. Leavis - Essay

F. R. Leavis

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Whatever may be Mr Van Wyck Brooks's distinctive mark in the contemporary American literary world, the five-volume work that comes to a close with The Confident Years seems to me to be in an essential respect very representative—representative, I mean, of a prevailing climate: while it is, to a portentous tune, inflationary in tendency, it at the same time shows an indifference to the real American achievement. The indifference must be judged to be unawareness, and if one asks how such unawareness could be preserved by a critic intention exalting and magnifying an established American literature, the explanation is to be seen in the nature of the inflationary bent itself. (p. 138)

The very...

(The entire section is 1059 words.)