Autumn 1953 • Vol. XV No. 4 Book ReviewsOctober 1, 1953 |

Recovering Milton

Answerable Style: Essays on Paradise Lost by Arnold Stein. University of Minnesota Press. $3.50. Like the fixed stars, the great poets are there all the time. It is not they that change but we. They are there to be seen, but we may have to be shown once more where to look for them and how to see them. This may entail as little as a minor alteration of our perspective and a slight change of focus or as much as a general reconstruction of our ability to read anything: that is, we may need anything from eye-drops on up to spectacles and telescopes, and if we would see the stars at midday, we may even need to descend a well. This process of rediscovery is a perennial one, and perhaps the prime task of the critic is to administer this process. That is why the work of criticism is never ending and why the great practical critics (to distinguish them from the theoretical aestheticians) are those who show us again how to read. In our own time we have seen the recovery of Donne and t

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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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By Cleanth Brooks

Answerable Style: Essays on Paradise Lost by Arnold Stein. University of Minnesota Press. $3.50. Like the fixed stars, the great poets are there all the time. It is not they […]

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