Winter 1949 • Vol. XI No. 1 The Critic's Business: By Four of the Critics |

For a Second Look

I should like to begin by asking you to re-read Mr. Tate's first paragraph, which I have been privileged to see, partly because what is said there is just to the New Criticism and very near just to Mr. Ransom—I, too, have felt engaged and occupied, the hunter and the hunted, in The Kenyon's pages; but I want Mr. Tate's paragraph reread also because I have hope that all he says there of a new sleight in the reading of poetry may be said again, after another decade, of a new sleight in reading the novel, which may also be called a New Criticism, for which Mr. Ransom may make the myth, and which will also arouse its dissidents in dismay. In a mixed society like ours we need our excesses to keep the mixture lively; Mr. Ransom is a man blessed, and blessing, with excess—that excess which is not its own end but a road to a palace. Now I suppose such a plea for renewed excess as this I have just made to Mr. Ransom has something to do with the reasons why he—and Mr. Tate, too—fin

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