You won't find much by Allen Tate these days. I think it's a sign. Tate, for the first half of this century, was one of its most celebrated literary critics and poets. He was a founding member of the Fugitive Poets (a group which included Robert Penn Warren, John Crowe Ransom, Donald Davidson and others) and a contributor to the Southern Agrarians' manifesto I'll Take My Stand
. His work is challenging and suffused with a faith in meaning. He sees literature as culminative thinking by humans -- a way of knowing -- and knowing truth. Louise Cowan (Invitation to the Classics
) in her introduction says it well: ''In the end, what is important about Tate's criticism is that it makes the reader see into himself. It enlarges his cosmos, so that his vision is both higher and deeper than before; and it penetrates into the interiority of the soul's connection with poetry and the real.''
An Eighth Day View:
This classic collection of nearly fifty essays by one of the century's most acclaimed poets and literary critics speaks poignantly to the concerns of today's students, teachers, and general literature readers alike. It covers the broad sweep of Tate's critical concerns: poetry, poets, fiction, the imagination, language, literature, and culture.