"The Hidden God" by Cleanth Brooks

The Hidden God Studies in Hemingway, Faulkner, Yeats, Eliot, and Warren Cleanth Brooks

Publication date:
11 Mar 1963
Yale University Press
152 pages: 203 x 130mm

The clarity of style for which Mr. Brooks has long been noted is displayed to advantage in this newest book of his criticism. Originally delivered as lectures at a faculty conference of people interested in theology, the critical studies have special importance for all readers who would like a fresh perspective on five distinguished literary figures whose Christian commitment has been regarded as nonexistent or nebulous. Mr. Brooks believes that whatever a writer has to say about mankind, Christianity, or culture in general is most significantly explained through his achievements as an artist, and for that reason the critic here deals with the characteristic literary work of each author, rather than with his theology or philosophy. 

"The Hidden God deals not with 'religion' but with literature, not with God but with man's image in contemporary literature. Yet, The Hidden God is an appropriate title, of it is God's hiddenness in the human situation?God presupposed in man's courage and tragedy and glory?which Brooks wishes to suggest. . . . Written by one of our finest literary critics and a Christian layman, [it] should go a long way in dispelling the notion that contemporary literature is for the Christian but a desert of 'dry sterile thunder without rain.'"?Motive

"[This book] reminds us of how valuable a great critic can be when he undertakes to tell us . . . what is humanly important in the work of artists who have set their 'chisel to the hardest stone'."?Saturday Review