By F. R. Leavis
F. R. Leavis used to be the manager editor of Scrutiny, which among 1932 and 1953 had a few declare on being the main influential literary magazine within the English-speaking global. the typical Pursuit is a variety of Leavis's essays from Scrutiny, together with his strong defence of Milton opposed to T. S. Eliot, his deeply-felt engagement with Shakespeare, and his serious strictures on makes an attempt to import sociology and political activism into the learn of literature. The name of the publication comes from a passage in Eliot's 'The functionality of Criticism', within which the poet argues that the critic needs to interact in 'the universal pursuit of real judgment'. For Leavis, this intended a strenuous insistence on discriminatory feedback - transparent statements approximately what's strong and morally mature and admirable, and both transparent condemnation of what's trivial. the typical Pursuit, with its arguable judgments of Bunyan and Auden, speedy and Forster, continues to be as not easy now because it did in 1952, and you may see why Leavis - who was once by no means provided a professorship through Cambridge college - held such sway over the examine of English literature in his time.
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Extra info for The Common Pursuit
The deriders represent it as showing me in a posture of comically servile deference to authority: Mr Eliot, in his well-known pontifical way, says * Milton's no good', and I, innocently supposing that to settle the matter, proclaim Milton's annihilation to the world. And now Mr Eliot goes back on his tip, leaving me exposed in my discomfiture for the amusement of his less snobbish—his judicious and real—admirers. Actually, that passage states briefly certain historical facts, the recognition of which seems to me to be entailed in any intelligent response to Mr Eliot's poetry.
Dr Tillyard has called my attention to the use of the same adjective in Comus, 1. 483 : Either someone like us night-foundered here where, though extravagant, it draws a permissible comparison between travellers lost in the night, and seafarers in extremity. But when, as here in Paradise Lost, it is transferred from travellers on land to adventurers by sea, and not to the men but to their skiff, the literal meaning of founder immediately presents itself. A foundered skiff could not be moored, to a whale or to anything else.
The Miltonists, of course, don't see the problem in this way; they busy themselves (and it would be an amusing spectacle if one didn't know that they were authorities to whom thousands of students are expected to apply themselves deferentially) with, determining, if a word can't be found to cover both Adam and Eve, just what Adam's sin is to be called—gregariousness, levity, uxoriousness, pride or lust. Conflict between feeling and theory is not the only way in which a radical lack of integration manifests itself in Paradise Lost.