The Kenyon Review, 1939-1970: A Critical History

Marian Janssen, Author Louisiana State University Press $47.5 (366p) ISBN 978-0-8071-1522-0
When John Crowe Ransom founded Ken yon Review in 1939, he envisioned the quarterly, still based at Kenyon College in Ohio, as ``a rich and substantial publication'' devoted to the arts. In this finely conceived study, Janssen, American studies coordinator at Catholic University in Holland, demonstrates that the poet exceeded his ambitions, shaping, in his devotion to literary form and critical objectivity, the sensibility of a generation with the precepts of New Criticism. Drawing on KR files, unpublished manuscripts and interviews with key figures, the author vividly recreates the daily doings of the journal and examines editorial intentions. She convincingly refutes charges that the quarterly traditionally emphasizes criticism at the expense of creative works, is politically reactionary or dominated by Southerners. In her lucid history, however, Janssen assumes that readers are well-versed in pertinent texts from the New Criticism era. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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