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Title: The critical practice of F.R. Leavis considered in the light of some formative influences : philosophical and literary
Author: Suwailem, A.
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 1974
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Abstract:
In this thesis attention is focussed on the antithetical and complementary roles played by T.S. Eliot and D.H. Lawrence in the criticism of F.R. Leavis. They figure both as subjects for and as influences upon that criticism, and are seen by Leavis as complementary forces from an early stage in his career as a critic. An attempt is made to explain Leavis's shifting valuations of these authors by reference to the work of four philosophers for whom he has expressed admiration. Santayana's ideas are seen to favour the influence of both Eliot and Lawrence. Particular attention is paid to the concepts of tradition and impersonality in relation to Eliot, and to the way in which Santayana's version of 'impersonality' is congruous with Lawrence' s view of the artist as a man for whom there is no distinction between the living (and suffering) individual and 'the mind which creates'. Whitehead's philosophy of organism, and the overriding importance attached to the human individual by Collingwood and Polanyi are seen as further reinforcements of Leavis's high valuation of Lawrence. Because Whitehead and Polanyi are both philosophers with a grounding in the natural sciences they are seen to be aptly invoked by Leavis in his controversy with Lord Snow on the nature of culture, and this controversy in its turn is seen to reflect part of Leavis's concern with Lawrence. This study is not a comprehensive view of influences upon Leavis as a critic. But it is hoped that, by concentrating attention upon the major figures of Eliot and Lawrence and the possible influence of four philosophers, some light has been cast valuably on Leavis's critical premises and in particular on his view of the relation of literature to life.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.704276  DOI: Not available
Keywords: English Literature
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