Leavis F. Leavis was one of the most influential figures in English twentieth century literary criticism. As a lecturer at Cambridge University, Leavis set out, through works such as Mass Civilisation and Minority Culture and New Bearings in English Poetry , to transform English Studies from a secondary subject, considered far less important than the classics, into a discipline of trained critical awareness and high moral vocation. From T.

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Friday, 3 February F. He blames the shift in culture due to lack of tradition. Throughout the article Leavis expresses his desire to keep the traditions of the past alive. This restricts the working class from gaining access to culture as education was limited. This is due to the fact that the society and culture changes much more rapidly in American, and the rest of the Western world follows suit, therefore creating an Americanised culture in Britain today.

This was a problem for Leavis as he believed that living in an Americanised society would result in the lack of British culture, and also create a singular universal culture for everybody, rather than separate individual values and traditions. Films were mass produced and contained no intellectual process to enjoy, unlike reading a novel for example. As Hollywood films imitate real life, it has a certain amount of emotional appeal to certain audience members. He speaks about the plight of culture and how the lines and boundaries of high culture and low culture have been blurred; therefore class is no longer an issue in the debate of culture.

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Mass Civilization and Minority Culture by F. R. Leavis - 1930

Wednesday, May 18, A Summary of F. Leavis says that culture belongs to the minority of society, in where the appreciation of art and literature depends. Cultural conservatism then is still kept with a few small minority, who are capable of endorsing and appreciating such first hand judgment by genuine personal response. Later on, Leavis warns that Culture is at crisis today, where all commonplace is more widely accepted than understood, and the realization of what the crisis portends does not seem to be common. He included a work of anthropology called "Middletown" where there is in detail how the automobile to take one instance has, in a few years, radically affected religion, broken up the family, and revolutionized social custom. He adds: "Change has been so catastrophic that the generations find it hard to adjust themselves to each other, and parents are helpless to deal with their children".


F. R. Leavis

Leavis wrote that The potentialities of human experience in any age are realized by only a tiny minority, and the important poet is important because he belongs to this and has also, of course, the power of communication Almost all of us live by routine, and are not fully aware of what we feel; or, if that seems paradoxical, we do not express to ourselves an account of our possibilities of experience The poet is unusually sensitiv, unusually aware, more sincere and more himself thatn the ordinary man can be. He knows what he feels and knows what he is interested in. He is a poet because his interest in his experience is not separable from his interest in words. They are still a small minority, though a larger one, who are capable of endorsing such first-hand judgment by genuine personal response. The minority capable not only of appreciating Dante, Shakespeare, Donne, Baudelaire, Hardy to take major instances but of recognising their latest successors constitute the consciousness of the race or of a branch of it at a given time.


His father was a cultured man who ran a shop in Cambridge that sold pianos and other musical instruments, [1] and his son was to retain a respect for him throughout his life. Leavis was educated at a fee-paying independent school in English terms a minor public school , The Perse School , whose headmaster was Dr W. Rouse was a classicist and known for his "direct method", a practice which required teachers to carry on classroom conversations with their pupils in Latin and classical Greek. Though he had some fluency in foreign languages, Leavis felt that his native language was the only one on which he was able to speak with authority. His extensive reading in the classical languages is not therefore strongly evident in his work.



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