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The cultural politics of the New Criticism /
Mark Jancovich.
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1993.
xii, 217 p. ; 24 cm.
More Details
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1993.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 190-215) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1994-05:
Studies on the Fugitives and the Vanderbilt tradition fall into one of three classes: historical (Cowan), literary (Bradbury, Winchell), and political/philosophical (Rubin, Jancovich). John L. Stewart's Burden of Time (CH, Dec'65) speaks to all three aspects. Jancovich brings the concerns of three major Fugitive New Critics, John Crowe Ransom, Allen Tate, and Robert Penn Warren, into a new perspective, citing the orientation of the trio as decidedly political and, of course, with a southern bent. His thesis is to demonstrate how these three men saw in literature the most effective medium to achieve a political impact. Jancovich underscores the liberal social thrust unheard of prior to the Southern Renascence. While pursuing this approach, he begins and ends his book with a chapter supportive of the concept that the New Criticism endures in substance unto this day. Fine expository prose gives this study a logic and clarity often lacking amid the obscurantism and buzz words so typical of most literary critics of the past three decades. Highly recommended for academic libraries. Advanced undergraduate; graduate; faculty. A. G. Tassin; University of New Orleans
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, May 1994
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Description for Bookstore
In this book Mark Jancovich examines the development of the New Criticism during the late 1920s and early 1930s, and its establishment within the academy, through the works of three leading American writers, Robert Penn Warren, John Crowe Ransom, and Allen Tate.
Description for Library
In this book Mark Jancovich examines the work of John Crowe Ransom, Allen Tate and Robert Penn Warren in order to assess the aims and impact of New Criticism upon the profession of literary study and teaching. Not only does he refute the previously held assumption that this movement was an example of bourgeois individualism, he also argues that the failure to identify its ideological origins and aims has meant that even those contemporary critics who seem to oppose the New Criticism often rely upon many of its fundamental assumptions.
Main Description
In this book, Mark Jancovich concentrates on the works of three leading American writers - Robert Penn Warren, John Crowe Ransom and Allen Tate - in order to examine the development of the New Criticism during the late 1920s and early 1930s, and its establishment within the academy in the late 1930s and 1940s. This critical movement managed to transform the teaching and study of English through a series of essays published in journals such as the Southern Review and the Kenyon Review. Jancovich argues that the New Criticism was not an example of bourgeois individualism, as previously held, but that it sprang from a critique of modern capitalist society developed by pre-capitalist classes within the American South. In the process, he clarifies the distinctions between the aims of these three Southern poets from those of the next 'generation' of New Critics such as Cleanth Brooks, Warren and Welleck, and Wimsatt and Beardsley. He also claims that the failure on the part of most contemporary critics to identify the movement's ideological origins and aims has usually meant that these critics continue to operate within the very professional terms of reference established through the New Critical transformations of the academy.
Table of Contents
List of abbreviations
The New Criticism and its Critics
Contemporary responses to the New Criticism
The historical context of the New Criticism
Before the New Criticism
The Formation of the New Criticism: Introduction
The social relations of aesthetic activity
The social organisation of literature
Against propaganda and irresponsibility
Conclusion: the analysis of a Southern poet
The Establishment of the New Criticism: Introduction
The origins of academic involvement
Understanding literature: textbooks and the distribution of the New Criticism
The form of criticism
The Development of the New Criticism: Introduction
The isolation of aesthetic activity
The man of letters and the cold war
Literature and social engagement
Conclusion: Modernism and Postmodernism Within the American Academy: Introduction
The professionalization of literary study
The New Critical intervention
Cultural criticism and postmodernity
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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