July 2013

"We were not altogether surprised that some prominent New Critics turned out to be segregationists, or at a minimum gradualists, adamant in their conviction that the (white) South had to be allowed to change at its own pace. A quietism, and a hostility to any attempt to regulate human affairs on the basis of abstract principle, surely lurked in the insistent emphasis on ‘irony’ and ‘ambiguity,’ the admiring quotation of Eliot’s aphorism that Henry James had ‘a mind too fine to be penetrated by an idea.’"

—Alan Williamson
"The Trouble with 'Theory'"