Fall 1952 • Vol. XIV No. 4 Book Reviews |

Hits and Misses

The Structure of Complex Words by William Empson. New Directions. $5.00 This is the most mixed-up book that Empson has written to date. It makes excursions into linguistics, semantics, the history of ideas, social psychology, the history of the language, author psychology, anthropology, etc., etc. Empson is conscious of the fact that he is writing on the borderland of linguistics and literary criticism. He is honest about the difficulties involved in raiding across the border and modest in his claims as to what he hopes to accomplish. He states frankly that many of his pages will appear tedious to the reader—as indeed they will. But readers of Empson's earlier books will realize that Empson was born for a life on the border and would be unhappy to find himself operating in territories more tidily parcelled out and where boundary markers were strictly honored. But one ought to begin at the beginning. Complex words are words that reveal various strata of meanings—meanings

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Cleanth Brooks (October 16, 1906—May 10, 1994) was an American literary critic and professor, best known for his publications, The Well Wrought Urn: Studies in the Structure of Poetry (1947) and Modern Poetry and the Tradition (1939). Brooks is said to have revolutionized the teaching of poetry in American higher education and was also a prominent critic of Southern literature as well as the co-founder of The Southern Review.

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Recovering Milton

By Cleanth Brooks

The Structure of Complex Words by William Empson. New Directions. $5.00 This is the most mixed-up book that Empson has written to date. It makes excursions into linguistics, semantics, the […]

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