Study Guide

Cleanth Brooks Social Media


In the early years, Brooks actually hammered out a few poems—but quickly realized his thing was reading, not composing poems. Whew. (Source.)


When Brooks first started teaching undergrads, they would "complain about studying King Lear because they didn't 'like to read about bad people.'" Brooks clearly had a lot of work to do. (Source.)


His "first scholarly publication, a study of Southern dialects, was used to help Vivien Leigh perfect her accent as Scarlett O'Hara," the star of Gone With the Wind. (Source.)


Brooks gave his textbook An Approach to Literature the nickname The Reproach to Literature. (Literary critics love that stuff.) (Source.)


Brooks was really tight with his circle of friends. But there were plenty of Brooks-haters—for example, Douglas Bush, Alfred Kazin, R.S. Crane, Frederick Crews, and Gerald Graff. The Brooks-haters even included some former graduate students, such as Hugh Kenner and (oh, dear) Stanley Fish. (Source.)

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