Q.D. Leavis's Criticism: The Human Core. (Reconsideration). - Modern Age

Q.D. Leavis's Criticism: The Human Core. (Reconsideration).

By Modern Age

  • Release Date - Published: 2003-03-22
  • Book Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
  • Author: Modern Age
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Q.D. Leavis's Criticism: The Human Core. (Reconsideration). Modern Age read online review & book description:

IN THE PRESENT RECONSIDERATION of the literary criticism of Q.D. Leavis (1906-1981), I wish to discuss three related topics. First, I want to show that, independent of her collaboration with her famous husband, F.R. Leavis (1895-1978), Q.D. Leavis is an important critic. Second, I will argue that she is, in particular, a major critic of the novel, especially of the nineteenth-century British novel, and specifically the English and Anglo-Irish novel. Thirdly, I will support my case by discussing her method of analysis in, arguably, her finest discussion of a nineteenth-century novel, "A Fresh Approach to Wuthering Heights" (1969). When Q.D. Leavis died in March 1981, David Holloway in The Daily Telegraph (London) described her relationship with her husband, F.R. Leavis, as forming "one of the most formidable literary partnerships ever."1 Presumably, he had in mind the Brownings, the Carlyles, Harriet Taylor and John Stuart Mill, and George Eliot and George Henry Lewes. In North America, we might think too of the Leavises' contemporaries: Mary McCarthy and Edmund Wilson, the Trillings or Janet Lewis and Yvor Winters. A collection of essays edited by Whitney Chadwick and Isabelle de Courtivron, entitled Significant Others: Creativity & Intimate Partnership2 describes, among others, the relationships of Camille Claudel and Auguste Rodin, Clara and Andre Malraux, Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, and Lillian Hellman and Dashiell Hammett. It shows that couples in love inspire each other. Though allied interests and love may be difficult to disentangle in most of the cases listed above, it is certainly tru e that the Leavises assisted and supported each other in their critical endeavors. Their mutual dedication to Dickens the Novelist (1970), as much and more the work of Q.D. than of F.R. Leavis, says it all:

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