Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


This is a study of the Southern Review, a cultural quarterly published at Louisiana State University from 1935 to 1942, and edited by Charles Pipkin, Cleanth Brooks, and Robert Penn Warren. The Review is shown to be an important part of American intellectual history in the thirties and forties, of the Southern Renascence in literature, the history of LSU, and the careers of its editors and contributors. That the Review was more than a literary quarterly (thus the label "cultural quarterly") is evident in its contents. Besides fiction, poetry, and literary criticism, the magazine published Southern, political, and philosophical articles. As varied as these topics are, a general cultural point of view emerges from the pages of the Southern Review. This point of view can be characterized as traditional, opposed to finance-capitalism, and concerned about the fate of the arts, especially literature, in the modern world. Both the magazine's scope and its point of view are delineated in chapters on the Review's fiction, poetry, literary criticism, its articles on the South, and its political and philosophical essays. The Southern Review's reputation rests largely on its literary pieces, and its view of literature, usually associated with the New Criticism, is generally regarded as narrow. An examination of the Review's contents shows that the magazine's assessment of literature is anything but narrow, that it is, rather, an essential part of the quarterly's view of culture. Because of this view of culture, the Southern Review is a significant example of American and Southern intellectual history between the wars.