Winter 1959 • Vol. XXI No. 1 Book Reviews |

Humanist in the Enemy Camp

Literature And The Image Of Man by Leo Lowenthal. Beacon Press. $4.95. OF ALL the available critical approaches I consider that of the historian of social ideas the most auspicious, since it permits the greatest possible insight into meanings when adopted by an expert practitioner. More single-minded than either Kenneth Burke or Edmund Wilson, Leo Lowenthal has perfected the sociological interpretation of literature in this country, raising it from a mere exercise in stocktaking (spiced, in some cases, with diatribe) to a sound normative discipline. Not that his effort is quite without precedent in the Anglo-American tradition. The names of Parrington and Christopher Caudwell come immediately to mind, also George Orwell and, more remote in both time and spirit, Macaulay--mavericks all, with the exception of Macaulay, whose example however cannot be said to have affected subsequent critics. very profoundly. What passes for sociological criticism these days--both here and in Englan

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Utopian Discourse

By Francis Golffing

Literature And The Image Of Man by Leo Lowenthal. Beacon Press. $4.95. OF ALL the available critical approaches I consider that of the historian of social ideas the most auspicious, […]

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