Fall 1950 • Vol. XII No. 4 My Credo: A Symposium of CriticsOctober 1, 1950 |

I. Toward An Amateur Criticism

Looking back over my own brief critical practice, I find that it has been rather consistently based on presuppositions fashionably called "obscurantist." Though not always consciously, I have been searching for strategies to oppose that "scientific criticism whose methods are mining, digging or just plain grubbing," and which assumes that the work of art is essentially a social function or a function of language, amenable to analysis in terms of the currently honorific vocabularies of various sciences. Though I should hate to call myself a Romantic, I am opposed to the dogged anti-Romanticism of much contemporary criticism which leads to a contempt for the imagination, and is often grounded in a kind of lumpen-nominalism that would grant only a second-class "reality" to works of art. The discrepancy between the metaphors typical to the creative mind and those typical to the critical mind in our world (and this is true often in the single individual who practises both as poet and cri

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Leslie A. Fiedler (1917-2003) was an influential American literary critic. Well known for Love and Death in the American Novel (1960), Fiedler penned many other works and was also a teacher. He was heavily interested in mythology and advocated genre fiction.

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