The Professor and the Profession

The Professor and the Profession

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by Robert Bechtold Heilman
     
 

Robert Bechtold Heilman is one of the last survivors of a remarkable generation of American critics that included such literary giants as Cleanth Brooks, Allen Tate, and Edmund Wilson, men to whom literary criticism was not a profession or an academic necessity but a calling. In a distinguished career that has spanned nearly six decades, Heilman has influenced

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Overview

Robert Bechtold Heilman is one of the last survivors of a remarkable generation of American critics that included such literary giants as Cleanth Brooks, Allen Tate, and Edmund Wilson, men to whom literary criticism was not a profession or an academic necessity but a calling. In a distinguished career that has spanned nearly six decades, Heilman has influenced generations of scholars and critics through his exquisitely written commentaries on subjects ranging from William Shakespeare to Thomas Hardy.

In The Professor and the Profession, Heilman looks back over his life and times from his perspective as both an academic and an American. Differing in theme and subject matter, the essays included in this collection are ultimately unified by the author himself. Whether the topic is football, Robert Penn Warren, or education, Heilman's generous and intelligent voice emerges on every page. Yet this collection is more than one academic's personal reminiscences; it is a reflection upon American literary history itself.

In the first section of essays, "The Self Displayed," Heilman reveals how he developed from a small-town boy into a distinguished critic and teacher, touching upon his participation in baseball and love of football along the way. "Writers Portrayed" and "Literary Types and Problems Inspected," the following sections, offer his opinions on the past and on the current state of American literary criticism, including personal portraits of such renowned friends as Eric Voegelin, Robert Penn Warren, Theodore Roethke, and Malcolm Cowley. The final section, "Education Examined," is an enlightening inquiry into the development of American universities in the twentieth century.

A fascinating chronicle of a significant academic life, The Professor and the Profession will appeal to a broad array of scholars, from young academics wanting to know where they came from to those of Heilman's generation who can appreciate this personal reminiscence into the world of letters.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780826212320
Publisher:
University of Missouri Press
Publication date:
07/28/1999
Pages:
358
Product dimensions:
6.13(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
IThe Self Displayed
1From Parsonage to Podium3
2Baseball: Random Connections20
3Football: An Addict's Recollections and Observations34
4The Rail Way of the World62
IIWriters Portrayed: Recollections
5Eric Voegelin85
6Robert Penn Warren103
7Theodore Roethke117
8Malcolm Cowley as University Professor127
IIILiterary Types and Problems Inspected: Shakespeare
9Farce: The Taming of the Shrew141
10Romance: Cymbeline155
11Timon in Context165
IVLiterary Types and Problems Inspected: Later Writers
12Good Guys and Bad Guys and What the Stage Does with Them: Dramatic Types179
13The Novel: Ideas versus Drama in Hardy192
14Short Story and Novella: Corrington's Tales207
15Comic Prose Epic: Welty's Losing Battles228
16Three Generations of English Studies: Impressions261
17Post-Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow: An Aspect of the Humanistic Tongue277
VEducation Examined
18Semicentennial Retrospections: The Past as Perspective291
19Back to Basics: Issues301
20Humanistic, Humane, Human308
21The Great-Teacher Myth321
22Sabbatical Leaves: Pay for Play, or Pattern for American Life?332
23Citizenship, Imagination, and Novels343
Acknowledgments349
Index351

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