Van Wyck Brooks
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Brooks, Van Wyck
Born Feb. 16, 1886, in Plainfield, N. J.; died May 2, 1963, in New York. American literary scholar.
In 1915, Brooks published the book America’s Coming-of-Age. Close to the cultural-historical and sociological school, Brooks spoke out against decadent literature. In the book The Ordeal of Mark Twain (1920) he developed the idea of a conflict between the artist and capitalist civilization, and he devoted the book The Pilgrimage of Henry James (1925) to this theme. In the works The Flowering of New England (1936), New England: Indian Summer (1940), The World of Washington Irving (1944), The Times of Melville and Whitman (1947), and The Confident Years (1952), Brooks presented a broad panorama of American literature. In the books The Writer in America (1953), Days of the Phoenix (1957), and From a Writer’s Notebook (1958), he condemned modern formalistic tendencies, including the “new criticism.” In Howells: A Biography (1959), Brooks wrote about the influence of socialist ideas and Russian authors (L. N. Tolstoy and I. S. Turgenev) on W. D. Howells.
WORKSOpinions of Oliver Allston. New York, 1944.
Helen Keller. London, 1956.
In Russian translation:
Pisatel’ i amerikanskaia zhizn’, vol. 1. Moscow, 1967. Vol. 2: Moscow, 1971.
REFERENCESMendel’son, M. “Van Vik Bruks i demokraticheskie traditsii amerikanskogo literaturovedeniia.” In Sovremennoe literaturovedenie SShA. Moscow, 1969.
Vitelli, J. R. Van Wyck Brooks. New York, 1969.
B. A. GILENSON