He was one of three children: Cleanth and William, natural born sons, and Murray Brooks, actually born Hewitt Witherspoon, whom Bessie Lee Witherspoon kidnapped from her brother Forrest Bedford Witherspoon as a young baby after the natural mother had died. She later was able to change his name to Murray Brooks and continued to raise him as her own, causing quite a rift in her own family and alienating herself from Cleanth and William. Cleanth mentioned on more than one occasion that she so doted on Murray Hewitt that she no longer had a relationship with Cleanth and William. Attending McTyeire School, a private academy, he received a classical education and went on to study at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee , where he received his B. In , Brooks received his M. He received his B.

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In literature, the paradox is a literary device consisting of the anomalous juxtaposition of incongruous ideas for the sake of striking exposition or unexpected insight. It functions as a method of literary composition — and analysis — which involves examining apparently contradictory statements and drawing conclusions either to reconcile them or to explain their presence.

Cleanth Brooks, an active member of the New Critical movement, outlines the use of reading poems through paradox as a method of critical interpretation. Paradox in poetry means that tension at the surface of a verse can lead to apparent contradictions and hypocrisies.

And I do not mean that the connotations are important as supplying some sort of frill or trimming, something external to the real matter in hand. I mean that the poet does not use a notation at all—as a scientist may properly be said to do so. The poet, within limits, has to make up his language as he goes. The poet, then, has control over language, and must take an active role in the shaping of what literature means.

The poet, then, is not limited to the denotations of words, but, instead, revel in the possible connotations of words. The individual poet is given a great deal of power, then, in the process of knowledge making and the reader is isolated from the production of meaning. Paradox In the writing of poems, paradox is used as a method by which unlikely comparisons can be drawn and meaning can be extracted from poems both straightforward and enigmatic. Though London is a man-made marvel, and in many respects in opposition to nature, the speaker does not view London as a mechanical and artificial landscape but as a landscape comprised entirely of nature.

Since London was created by man, and man is a part of nature, London is thus too a part of nature. This seems to parody both love and religion, but in fact it combines them, pairing unlikely circumstances and demonstrating their resulting complex meaning. He contends that these several meanings are impossible to convey at the right depth and emotion in any language but that of paradox. The study of English, however, remained less defined and it became a goal of the New Critical movement to justify literature in an age of science by separating the work from its author and reader, and by examining it as a self-sufficient artifact.

Irony Although paradox and irony as New Critical tools for reading poetry are often conflated, they are independent poetical devices. The bartender gives it to her. Irony is the key to validating the poem because a test of any statement grows from the context — validating a statement demands examining the statement in the context of the poem and determining whether it is appropriate to that context.

Paradox, however, is essential to the structure and being of the poem. In The Language of Paradox The Well Wrought Urn Brooks shows that paradox was so essential to poetic meaning that paradox was almost identical to poetry. This existence of opposites or contraries and the reconciliation thereof is poetry and the meaning of the poem. Criticism R. For one, Brooks believes that the very structure of poetry is paradox, and ignores the other subtleties of imagination and power that poets bring to their poems.

Also, by defining poetry as uniquely having a structure of paradox, Brooks ignores the power of paradox in everyday conversation and discourse, including scientific discourse, which Brooks claimed was opposed to poetry.


Cleanth Brooks - The Language of Paradox

Named research professor Bostick Foundation, ; Guggenheim fellow, , 60, senior fellow National Endowment of the Humanities, Club: Athenaeum London. Education AB, Vanderbilt University, Bachelor honorary , Oxford University, Bachelor of Letters, Oxford University, Doctor of Literature honorary , Upsala College,


Cleanth Brooks’ Concept of Language of Paradox

Shaktishakar Paradox literature — Wikipedia If thou appear untouched by solemn thought, Thy nature is therefore not less divine: Their Roots, Range, and Brpoks. This is merely a matter of prejudice. Formal elements such as rhyme, meter, setting, characterization, and plot were parqdox to identify the theme of the text. Log In Sign Up. Johns Hopkins University Press, Brooks and the New Critics also argued that there was in existence a finite number of good texts a canon. He contends that these several pxradox are impossible to convey at the right depth and emotion in any language but that of paradox.


Cleanth Brooks

Michael Godaddy The Language of Paradox Cleanth Brooks Few of us are prepared to accept the statement that the language of poetry is the language of paradox. Paradox is the language of sophistry, hard, bright, witty; it is hardly the language of the soul. We are willing to allow that paradox is a permissible weapon which a Chesterton may on occasion exploit. We :nay permit it in epigram, a special subvariety of poetry; and in satire, which though useful, we are hardly willing to allow to be poetry at all. Our prejudices force us to regard paradox as intellectual rather than emotional, clever rather than profound, rational rather than divinely irrational. Yet there is a sense in which paradox is the language appropriate and inevitable to poetry. It is the scientist whose truth requires a language purged of every trace of paradox; apparently the truth which the poet utters can be approached only in terms of paradox.


Chater omy on occasion explo. We may wesc ie in epigram, 2 special subvarey of poetry: Pe ane, hich dough wel, we ate harly wil i In on ye poetry at al, us prejudices force fos td paradox at intellectual rater than emo- Hons clever rather than profound, rational rather than divinely rational a Yat Were wave in which paradox she language applopine and inevitable to poeoy. Its the went. T Oe ipa net be sure ti posible that the We eri chaptr i vel tobe tented as merely para eect cere are reasons for dining thatthe ove er chic T propre may ight wp some eles tage hcare at poeuy which tend to be overtoked. And yet the typical Wordsworth poem is baved upon a [Paradoxical situation.

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