Brooks, Cleanth, 1906-1994

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1906-10-16
Death 1994-05-10
Americans
English

Biographical notes:

American scholar and writer; professor of English at Louisiana State University and Yale University.

From the description of Cleanth Brooks letter, 1984 Dec. 21. (Louisiana State University). WorldCat record id: 243464696

Louisiana State University English professor, and co-founder of Southern Review, a literary journal.

From the description of Cleanth Brooks oral history interview, 1992. (Louisiana State University). WorldCat record id: 244443354

Cleanth Brooks is known for his contribution to the "new criticism" and his influence in the teaching of literature in American universities.

From the description of Cleanth Brooks Collection, 1938-1977. (Vanderbilt University Library). WorldCat record id: 228509229

Cleanth Brooks, one of the founders of New Criticism, editor of the Southern Review, professor at Louisiana State University and Yale University, Faulkner scholar, educator, and lecturer, was born in Murray, Kentucky, on October 16, 1906. His major works include American Literature (with Robert Penn Warren and R. W. B. Lewis) (1973), Literary Criticism (with William K. Wimsatt) (1957), and The Well Wrought Urn (1947).

From the description of Cleanth Brooks papers. 1927-1986 (inclusive) 1960-1986 (bulk). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702131684

Cleanth Brooks (1906-1994) was educated at Vanderbilt, Tulane, and Oxford. He was professor of English at Louisiana State University (1932-1947) and professor of English (1947-1960), professor of Rhetoric (1960-1975), and professor emeritus (1975-1994) at Yale University. Brooks is best remembered as one of the pioneers of the "New Criticism" of American literary scholarship.

From the description of Cleanth Brooks papers, 1936-1963. (Louisiana State University). WorldCat record id: 77630905

American author.

From the description of The fugitives and the agrarians: personal recollections and a reassessment, 1985 April 28 [manuscript]. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 647827804

Literary critic, author.

Cleanth Brooks was born in Murray, Kentucky and educated at Vanderbilt University, Tulane University and at Oxford as a Rhodes scholar (1929-1932). A teacher, editor and author, Brooks is noted primarily for his work as a literary critic. The founder and editor of THE SOUTHERN REVIEW, Brooks has collaborated with Robert Penn Warren on several publications. Along with Warren, Brooks is a proponent of the "New Criticism," a modern approach to the study of literature. Brooks is considered an authority on the work of William Faulkner.

From the description of Cleanth Brooks papers, 1954-1966. (University of Kentucky Libraries). WorldCat record id: 16388973

Amercan scholar, critic.

Born in Murray, Ky., in 1906, Brooks graduated from Vanderbilt University with a B.A. in 1928, and received an M.A. from Tulane University in 1929. As a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University (U.K.), he received a B.A. (Honors) in 1931, and a B.A. (Literature) in 1932. He taught in the English department at Louisiana State University until 1947. In 1935, Brooks, Robert Penn Warren, and other scholars and writers, founded Southern Review, an important literary journal which remained in publication until 1942. Brooks served as a Fellow of the Library of Congress (1951-1962), cultural attache at the American Embassy in London (1964-1966), and was awarded Guggenheim Fellowships in 1953 and 1960. From 1947 until 1975 he taught at Yale University. Primarily an essayist and critic, Brooks focused on modern poetry and literature, with special emphasis on William Faulkner. He published several books, had essays included in numerous journals, and along with Robert Penn Warren and other writers, authored textbooks that revolutionized how literature is taught and read in the classroom.

From the description of Cleanth Brooks papers, 1949-1991. (University of Toledo). WorldCat record id: 35785761

Cleanth Brooks, one of the founders of New Criticism, Faulkner scholar, educator, and lecturer, was born in Murray, Kentucky, on October 16, 1906 to the Rev. Cleanth and Bessie Lee Witherspoon Brooks. His father, a Methodist minister, was assigned to parishes primarily in western Tennessee, where Brooks spent most of his early life. Brooks received a classical education at The McTyeire School in McKenzie, Tennessee, and went on to obtain a bachelor's degree in English from Vanderbilt University, where during his freshman year he met his lifelong friend and frequent literary collaborator, Robert Penn Warren, then a senior. While at Vanderbilt, Brooks became keenly interested in literature and poetry. Although the Nashville poets were to discontinue their publication, The Fugitive, soon after he arrived at Vanderbilt, Brooks did get to know them and has remained closely associated with the members of that group throughout his life.

After completing his studies at Vanderbilt, Brooks attended Tulane University and was granted a master's degree in English. He then went to Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, where he received a B. A. (honors) in 1931 and a B. Litt. in 1932; he also became associated with the editing of the correspondence of the eighteenth-century ecclesiastic and literary figure, Thomas Percy, a project with which he would remain intimately involved over the next fifty years.

Upon his return from Oxford in 1932, Brooks was appointed professor of English at Louisiana State University. In 1934 he married Edith Amy Blanchard, known as Tinkum to her friends. Brooks and Robert Penn Warren, who joined the LSU faculty two years after Brooks's arrival, jointly edited The Southern Review from 1935 to 1942. For information documenting Brooks's editorship of this journal, see The Southern Review Collection at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. In 1946 Brooks was named the first occupant of the Read chair of English. Also during his LSU tenure, he began writing (with Robert Penn Warren) the first of many college textbooks for the teaching of literature and poetry.

In 1947 Brooks was appointed professor of English at Yale University, where his courses on Faulkner became legendary. In 1961 he was designated Gray Professor of Rhetoric, from which post he retired in 1975. Throughout his life Brooks has been a prolific lecturer and since retirement has been an active visiting professor. He has received numerous honorary degrees and awards. His major works include American Literature: The Makers and the Making (with Warren and R. W. B. Lewis) (1973), The Hidden God (1963), Literary Criticism (with William K. Wimsatt) (1957), Modern Poetry and the Tradition (1939), A Shaping Joy (1971), Understanding Fiction (with Warren) (1943), Understanding Poetry (with Warren) (1938), The Well Wrought Urn (1947), and four books on Faulkner.

For further biographical information, see The Possibilities of Order: Cleanth Brooks and His Work (1976) by Lewis P. Simpson and Parnassus on the Mississippi: The Southern Review and the Baton Rouge Literary Community, 1935-1942 (1984) by Thomas W. Cutrer.

[Cleanth Brooks died in New Haven on May 10, 1994 - after this biographical sketch was originally written.]

From the guide to the Cleanth Brooks papers., 1927-1986 (inclusive), 1960-1986, (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

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Subjects:

  • American poetry
  • American literature--History and criticism
  • Authors, American--20th century--Archives
  • Lectures and lecturing
  • Poetry
  • Agrarians (group of writers)
  • Criticism
  • Southern literature
  • American literature
  • New Criticism
  • Literature publishing--History
  • Literature--History and criticism
  • Poets, American
  • Southern culture
  • American poetry--20th century--History and criticism--Sources
  • Authors, American--Biography
  • Historical criticism (Literature)
  • Literary critics, American
  • Agrarianism

Occupations:

not available for this record

Places:

  • Southern states (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Southern States (as recorded)
  • Louisiana--Baton Rouge (as recorded)
  • Southern States (as recorded)
  • Southern States (as recorded)