Summer 1945 • Vol. VII No. 3 Communications |

The Views of Mr. Symons

Sirs: Mr. D. S. Savage and Mr. Julian Symons have sent from England two of the most stimulating essays published in the Kenyon Review for some time. But stimulus is not persuasion, and as Mr. Ransom was provoked to object to parts of Mr. Savage’s argument, so I am provoked to object to parts of Mr. Symons’ argument. Only, I am glad to say, to parts. Much of the essay gives the lie to my statement in the Kenyon Review last year that the literary magazines do not publish dramatic criticism on the level of their poetic criticism. Mr. Symons succeeds in what I hope is his main purpose: to analyze the morality of Restoration Drama more candidly than did Krutch and Dobree. And many of his comments on particular Restoration dramatists are excellent and fresh. What I object to are certain underlying ideas about dramatic history which in turn imply certain questionable critical assumptions. Restoration comedy, says Mr. Symons, "lacks the tragic force that may be possessed by drama writ

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