Autumn 1942 • Vol. IV No. 3 Book Reviews |

Artists and the “Societal” Function

Writers in Crisis by Maxwell Geismar. Houghton Mifflin. $3.00 Directions in Contemporary Literature by Philo Buck, Jr. Oxford. $3.00 The Novel and Society by N. Elizabeth Monroe. University of North Carolina Press. $3.00   Poets, Shelley said, are the unacknowledged legislators of the world. The truth of the statement depends partly on the delicacy with which Shelley develops it, but chiefly on that word "unacknowledged." However, for some years an important body of criticism has declared that poets are the fully acknowledged legislators of the world or at least ought to be judged as if they were. Of this school of criticism these three books are the latest exponents. Mr. Geismar’s is the most important of the three because it is the most thoroughgoing and the most urgent and also because it has been the most widely noticed and praised. It is devoted to the demonstration of how the financial collapse of 1929 and the social misery of the following years brought a n

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Lionel Trilling (1905-1975) was an American literary critic, author, and University Professor at Columbia University. Among the most influential of his many works are two collections of essays, The Liberal Imagination and The Opposing Self; a critical study of E. M. Forster; and one novel, The Middle of the Journey.

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The Legend of the Lion

By Lionel Trilling

Writers in Crisis by Maxwell Geismar. Houghton Mifflin. $3.00 Directions in Contemporary Literature by Philo Buck, Jr. Oxford. $3.00 The Novel and Society by N. Elizabeth Monroe. University of North […]

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