Cleanth Brooks

“Perhaps he can do little more than indicate whether in his opinion the work has succeeded or failed. Healthy criticism and healthy creation do tend to go hand in hand. Everything thing else being equal, the creative artist is better off for being in touch with a vigorous criticism” (Brooks).

Brooks, Cleanth. “My Credo.” Kenyon Review 13, no. 1 (Winter 1951): 72–81.

This is an interesting move from what he said earlier about how, “the formalist critic is concerned primarily with the work itself” (Brooks). He stressed the importance of “the critic” examining the work itself without imposing “his” emotional response onto it. Yet, how can the critic determine if the work has “succeeded or failed” without doing so? It seems Brooks is concerned with doing the work of getting to the heart of a work in order to  apply criticism or give a formal analysis. This relies on the assumption the final work or poem in this case expresses the intention of the author. The way that he describes the formalist critic puts weight on what can be observed working throughout the poem and proven with evidence rather than opinion or “gossip.” From the passage I posted above, I gather the writer will know from this sort of criticism whether or not he or she conveyed their point.