English Literature in our Time and the University: The Clark Lectures 1967

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This book was first published by Cambridge in 1979. It is taken from the 1967 Clark Lectures and is in the first place a vigourous defence of the study of English in a modern university. Leavis is concerned with English Literature as a living reality, with the need for 'keeping alive, potent and developing the full human consciousness of ends and values and human nature that comes to us out of the long creative continuity of our culture'. Responsibility for maintaining this continuity, Leavis argues, can only be borne by a university with a strong humane centre - and English school, defined as a collaborative community of students and teachers. Leavis's concern, however, extends further than the question of university education, for he sees the university simply as one nucleus of a wider spiritual community that should form the mind and conscience of the country. This book will remain of interest to readers today.