He was one of three children: Cleanth and William, natural born sons, and Murray Brooks, actually born Hewitt Witherspoon, whom Bessie Lee Witherspoon kidnapped from her brother Forrest Bedford Witherspoon as a young baby after the natural mother had died. She later was able to change his name to Murray Brooks and continued to raise him as her own, causing quite a rift in her own family and alienating herself from Cleanth and William. Cleanth mentioned on more than one occasion that she so doted on Murray Hewitt that she no longer had a relationship with Cleanth and William. Attending McTyeire School, a private academy, he received a classical education and went on to study at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee , where he received his B.
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Did you find this document useful? Report this Document Description: Brooks was the central figure of New Criticism, a movement that emphasized structural and textual analysis—close reading—over historical or biographical analysis. Brooks advocates close reading because, as he states in The Well Wrought Urn, "by making the closest examination of what the poem says as a poem" qtd.
For him, the crux of New Criticism is that literary study be "concerned primarily with the work itself" qtd. In "The Formalist Critics," Brooks offers "some articles of faith" qtd. These articles exemplify the tenets of New Criticism: That the primary concern of criticism is with the problem of unity—the kind of whole which the literary work forms or fails to form, and the relation of the various parts to each other in building up this whole.
That in a successful work, format and content cannot be separated. That form is meaning. That literature is ultimately metaphorical and symbolic.
That the general and the universal are not seized upon by abstraction, but got at through the concrete and the particular. That literature is not a surrogate for religion.
That, as Allen Tate says, "specific moral problems" are the subject matter of literature, but that the purpose of literature is not to point a moral.
That the principles of criticism define the area relevant to literary criticism; they do not constitute a method for carrying out the criticism qtd.
Cleanth Brooks Social Media
Yet, he questions that list its end, and seems to complain that his that his writings have been largely misunderstood. In Cleanth Brooks, The Formalist Critics, Brooks emphasizes how you should criticize content by the form and structure of the work. Formalism is seen through English in the way literary works are structured. Formalism is reveled in the American government. Formalism is also shown in the structure of filmmaking. In almost any work of art or content, the concept of formalism is applied to everything. Think about what the poem is about content , how it is written form and structure , and why, to what effect the relation between form and content.
The Formalist Critics Cleanth Brooks
The Formalist Critics, by Cleanth Brooks
The Formalist Critics