American Proscenium

American Proscenium (Part 4)

Cleanth Brooks has been named the 1985 Jefferson Lecturer by the Nation­al Endowment for the  Humanities. Mr. Brooks, who is best known for his works of literary theory and his exposi­tions of William Faulkner, is one of the last of the band of prophets who found themselves at Vanderbilt Uni­versity in the l 920's. Too young to contribute to I'll Take My Stand (pub­lished in 1928, the year of his gradua­tion), Mr. Brooks did supply "A Plea to the Protestant Churches'' for the later volume, Who Owns America? A devout Anglican, Cleanth Brooks took an active role in the struggle to save the Prayerbook, and for the half­-century celebration of the Agrarian manifesto he wrote an essay on "The Enduring Faith" for Why the South Will Survive. The NEH has honored itself and the American people by recognizing the merits of a man who gives old meaning to the phrase "a gentleman and a scholar."                                      cc

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