Dr. F. R. Levis is a Professor and an academic critic who is also regarded as one of outstanding figures of New Criticism in England. Sometimes his criticism is called ‘Philosophical Criticism’ as it is the reviver of the philosophical criticism whose great supporters were Sidney, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley and Arnold.
Great achievement of F.R. Leavis:
a. Revolutionary Figure: Leavis is a revolutionary figure in the histories of 20th century. He professionalized the study of literature and also, literary criticism. But for his systematically explaining critical principals his position as a critic is not certain. Still now he is regarded as a charming and certain leader of the critical world of England.
b. As a critic: Leavis is very strange as he did not conform to any theory. His position as a critic is very indefinite. Unlike many great and worth-mentioning critics, he has nowhere systematically explained his critical principals. In his short introduction attached to his books and his general statements his ideas are found. As a critic he was very controversial, and in some ways unpopular to many of his generations.
c. Contributor: He was a contributor in the field of literary criticism. According to the opinion of some critics, the most outstanding contribution of Leavis to criticism is the relation that he establishes between it and an interest in man, society and civilization. Generally a true critical inquiry is not just an interest in literature for its own sake but a concern for the valleys of life it promotes. Leavis’ pure literary interest is the one which alarms humanism and society. He makes the critic self-reliant, recusing him from a mere parrot-like repetition of accepted opinions.
d. Changing: He has changed our reading way especially poetry, but also the novel. It is not by preaching about hermeneutics but by leaving a collection of brilliant readings of particular works, reading which are not hermetic exercises.
e. A outstanding example: He has provided a shining example about how a mind can teach itself to develop. He liberated himself from the influence of Eliot and furnished the drastic limiting critique which placed.
f. Invention: He practically created the criticism of the novel and the subject of cultural studies.
g. Justification: He justified the autonomy and dignity of literature as an activity of humanity which gives a vital situation to all thinking, including the scientific and mathematical.
h. Conception: His conception of university- the boldest subsequently Newman’s- stands as a reminder of what higher education could be and lecture to the reality.
i. Scrutiny: He along with his wife published Scrutiny. He made possible the publication of major works on English literature from Chaucer to the present days. There were sociology, philosophy, music, history, education and politics in the Scrutiny. It made a revolutionary change in English literature