Cleanth Brooks Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MSS.0054

  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents

This small collection (.21 linear feet ) includes correspondence between Cleanth Brooks and a number of Vanderbilt University faculty about the Fugitive Poets Reunion at Vanderbilt in 1956, the Literary Symposia in 1958 and 1964, and other literary and academic matters. There are also newspaper clippings and articles and several photographs taken by Merrill Moore at the 1956 Fugitive Poets Reunion at Vanderbilt.

Dates

  • 1938 - 1977

Creator

Biographical Note

Cleanth Brooks was born October 16, 1906 in Murray, Kentucky . He graduated from Vanderbilt University where he met John Crowe Ransom, Donald Davidson, and Andrew Lytle as well as Robert Penn Warren, his lifelong friends and colleagues. He did graduate work at Tulane University, and then went on to Exeter College at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar (1929-1932). Brooks and Warren were also friends during their time at Oxford. They overlapped there one year. From 1932 to 1947 he was a Professor of English at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. From 1947 to 1975 he was an English professor at Yale University, where he held the position of Gray Professor of Rhetoric from 1960 until his retirement in 1975.

Brooks is best known for his contributions to the New Criticism and for his influence in the teaching of poetry in American universities which emphasized “close reading” of the structural and textual details of the poem. Also with Warren he wrote the landmark texts Understanding Poetry (1938), and Understanding Fiction (1943). In 1947 he published The Well Wrought Urn: Studies in the Structure of Poetry. Later he published works on William Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha County. His courses on Faulkner at Yale became legendary.

In 1935 with Robert Penn Warren he founded and edited the Southern Review which published the work of a number of important writers. Collections of his correspondence with Robert Penn Warren and Allen Tate have been published. Brooks received many awards and honorary degrees. He died in New Haven, Connecticut on May 10. 1994. His papers were donated to Yale University in 1987 and are in the Yale Collection of American Literature in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

In 1934 he married Edith Amy Blanchard, who was known as Tinkum.

Extent

.21 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

English

Overview

This small collection (.21 linear feet ) includes correspondence between Cleanth Brooks and a number of Vanderbilt University faculty about the Fugitive Poets Reunion at Vanderbilt in 1956, the Literary Symposia in 1958 and 1964, and other literary and academic matters. There are also newspaper clippings and articles and several photographs taken by Merrill Moore at the 1956 Fugitive Poets Reunion at Vanderbilt.

Physical Location

Special Collections & Archives
Title
Finding Aid for the Cleanth Brooks Papers
Status
Completed
Date
2006
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the Vanderbilt University Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Jean and Alexander Heard Library
419 21st Avenue South
Nashville TN 37203 United States


 

About this Site

This site contains collection guides, or finding aids, to the archival collections held by Vanderbilt University Special Collections and University Archives, the History of Medicine Collection, and the Scarritt Bennett Center. Finding aids describe the context, arrangement, and structure of archival materials, allowing users to identify and request materials relevant to their research.

Requesting Materials

Each finding aid contains a link to request materials from the collections. Collections can also be requested by emailing the repository directly through the library website. Each repository has its own location, hours, and contact information. Please consult the repository with questions about using the materials. Collections are non-circulating and must be used in the repository’s reading room. In many cases, the collections are stored off-site and require advance notice for retrieval.