Idiosyncrasy and Technique

Cleanth Brooks (1906-1994) is widely recognized as a revolutionary figure in the field of literary theory and study.  He is known for his contribution to the field of New Criticism, as well as for changing the way poetry was taught in schools. 

Among the Special Collection at McCain Library and Archives is the Cleanth Brooks Library, a portion of the Brooks’s personal library, which was donated to the Special Collection in the early 1980’s.   Included in the Brooks library are, as one would imagine, many books on the study and craft of literature, particularly poetry.  One of these books is Idiosyncrasy & Technique, a small 27 page soft cover book that is made up of two lectures given by Modernist writer and poet Marianne Moore, and published by the University of California Press.  The lectures detail Moore’s views on the creative process from the two perspectives, as the title suggests, of idiosyncrasy and technique. 

Special Collections at The University of Southern Mississippi Libraries in McCain Library & Archives has a large collection of Cleanth Brooks’ library. Many of the books are inscribed with Mr. Brooks’ notes, and some contain related enclosures.

For more information about this item or the Brooks Collection, contact Andrew Rhodes at or 601.266.6765. To see more Items of the Month, click here.

Text for this Item of the Month prepared by Andrew Rhodes