Fall 1962 • Vol. XXIV No. 4 Department KR: A Section of Briefer CommentOctober 1, 1962 |

A Literary Defense of “The Two Cultures”

It is now nearly three years since C. P. Snow delivered the Rede Lecture that was afterward published under the title of The Two Cultures. F. R. Leavis' recent attack on it, and on Snow himself, owes some of its popular success to that lapse of time; during those three years a fierce irritation has gathered among "intellectuals" (people who teach, or would in America teach, at a university, let's say) at the publicity given to Snow's thesis. This irritation is to be found among scientists as well as among humanists: there is no name to equal Snow's as a signal, at an intellectual party, for every guest to sharpen his malice and begin a co-operative denigration. And yet—quite apart from the nastiness of this behavior—there has been no answering of his thesis. Dr. Leavis' Richmond Lecture offers the best chance so far to continue (or rather to begin) the debate. Dr. Leavis' attack is concentrated on the author's personality, manner, and tone. He claims that these form a contex

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece

Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.

Read More


Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.


With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.