F. R. Leavis

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Leavis, F. R.

(Frank Raymond Leavis) (lē`vĭs), 1895–1978, English critic and teacher. Leavis was one of the most influential literary critics of the 20th cent. A formidable controversialist, he combined close textual analysis with a commitment to moral seriousness and provided a carefully constructed canon of worthwhile recent English literature. His works include New Bearings in English Poetry (1932), The Great Tradition (1948), The Common Pursuit (1952), D. H. Lawrence, Novelist (1955), and Anna Karenina and Other Essays (1968). He was editor and cofounder of the influential quarterly Scrutiny from 1932 until its demise in 1953. From 1936 to 1962, Leavis was a fellow at Downing College, Cambridge. He excoriated "mass culture" in his writings on education and society: Mass Civilization and Minority Culture (1930), Education and the University (1943), and English Literature in Our Time and the University (1969). Nor Shall My Sword: Discourses on Pluralism, Compassion and Social Hope (1972) was a collection of lectures. He was married to Q. D. LeavisLeavis, Q. D.
(Queenie Dorothy Leavis), 1906–81, British literary critic; wife of F. R. Leavis. After studying at Cambridge, she wrote Fiction and the Reading Public (1932), which analyzed the market for different types of fiction among readers).
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See studies by F. Mulhern (1978), and F. P. Bilan (1979).

References in periodicals archive ?
Their travel narratives were ill suited to the project of nation-narration Mount describes as closely linked to the professionalization of CanLit, and their straightforward, unadorned prose was unsuited to Leavisite values as they later emerged in the discipline of English and Canadian literatures.
Ian Hunter's years of analysing the 'literary gaze', identifying the contours of the 'seminar of conscience', breaking down the regimes in place for 'learning the literature lesson' possibly derive from his having been drummed out of his Honours year in a Leavisite English department in Melbourne for the crimes of reading William Empson and Roland Barthes, and for presenting as a student more interested in matters philosophical than matters English literary.
The consequent sense of mission for literary critics--their identification and elucidation of the profounder, non-timebound meanings to be found in literary works--helps explain local inflections of Leavisite criticism in Australia, though the tag itself merely denoted (as one can see in retrospect) the more strenuous expressions of a view of the role of criticism that was far more widely felt.
(23) Rickword's 1920s readings of cultural history--implicit in which was a sense of the fragmentation of a common culture leading to the alienation and rootlessness of the modern writer--shared much with the Leavisite analysis he influenced.
As a result, the critics are able to show that Byatt's intertextual melange is a form of "critical storytelling" in and of itself, not just an ambivalent form of postmodernity produced by a reluctant Leavisite.
Yet it should be said that Britton was by no means an uncritical 'Leavisite'.
I was what was called a Leavisite, and if you know Leavis, I was taught by F.R.
Unapologetically Leavisite and patronizing in his conception of a "common reader," Kiberd seeks a reader who is an "amateur," is seemingly "innocent" and "naive" in interpretation, has an "ordinary" job and needs a piece of "wisdom literature," such as Ulysses, to learn how to sanctify and get the most out of everyday life.
The English Department was the last bastion of Leavisite orthodoxy, as I discovered when I gave a paper dismissing the very idea of a Great Tradition of English literature.
It is interesting to compare the liberal humanist or the Leavisite criticism before the flowering of this decentered theory and criticism in the West with what is being said about the tradition of Rumi here.