The Influence of Chinese Culture on Cleanth Brooks

Feiliang FU


Cleanth Brooks, one of the American New Critics, was probably influenced by Chinese culture in the following three ways. Firstly, under the big environment of Europe and US which were influenced by Taoism broadly at that time, Brooks was affected and his Paradox Theory was stamped with the beliefs of Taoism. Secondly, with the influence of I. A. Richards et al., who learned a lot from Chinese Confucianism, Brooks was affected by the doctrine of mean and his attitude of moderation and tolerance can be seen in his irony, his poem organism theory, his treatment of a serious of literature issues such as the relationship among text, author and reader, relationship between text and history, and his attitude on the affection and reasoning, etc.. Thirdly, for other famous writers like Pound, Eliot et al., who learned from those images used in Chinese classical poetry and spread images ideas, Brooks got influence from their images application, advocating objective and rationality, against the sentimentality of Romanticism.


Chinese culture; Cleanth Brooks; The doctrine of the mean; Taoism; Image

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