Author(s): William Calin
The Twentieth-Century Humanist Critics revisits the work and place of eight scholars roughly contemporary with Anglo-American New Criticism: Leo Spitzer, Ernst Robert Curtius, Erich Auerbach, Albert Bguin, Jean Rousset, C.S. Lewis, F.O. Matthiessen, and Northrop Frye. William Calin first considers the achievements of each critic, examining his methodology and basic presuppositions as well as the critiques marshalled against him. Calin explores their relation to history, to canon-formation, and to our current theoretical debates. He then goes on to show how all eight form a current in the history of criticism related to both humanism and modernism.
Underscoring the international, cosmopolitian aspects of literary scholarship in the twentieth century, The Twentieth-Century Humanist Critics brings together humanist critical traditions from Europe, the United Kingdom, and North America and reveals the surprising extent to which, in various languages and academic systems, critics were posing similar questions and offering a gamut of similar responses.