Panichas, George A(ndrew) 1930-

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PANICHAS, George A(ndrew) 1930-

PERSONAL: Born May 21, 1930, in Springfield, MA; son of Andrew K. and Fannie (Dracouli) Panichas. Education: American International College, Springfield, MA, B.A., 1951; Trinity College, Hartford, CT, A.M., 1952; University of Nottingham, Nottingham, England, Ph.D., 1962; American International College, Litt. D., 1984. Politics: "Conservative Humanist." Religion: "Christian Orthodox." Hobbies and other interests: Walking, hiking, racquetball, listening to music.

ADDRESSES: Home—4313 Knox Rd., Apt. 402, College Park, MD 20740. Office—Department of English, 3113 Susquehanna Hall, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-8815; Post Office Box AB, College Park, MD 20741.

CAREER: University of Maryland, College Park, MD, instructor, 1962-63, assistant professor, 1963-66, associate professor, 1966-68, professor of English, 1968-92. Modern Age: A Quarterly Review, editorial adviser, 1972-77, associate editor, 1978-83, editor, 1984—; conference "Irving Babbitt: Fifty Years Later," codirector, 1983; Richard M. Weaver Fellowship Awards Committee, member, 1983-88; Continuity: A Journal of History, member, advisory board, 1984; Ingersoll Prizes Jury Panel, member, 1986; Humanitas, member, advisory board, 1993.

MEMBER: National Humanities Institute, member, academic board, 1985—, Royal Society of Arts (fellow), Foundation for Faith in Search of Understanding, trustee, 1987.

AWARDS, HONORS: Earhart Foundation Award, 1982.


Adventure in Consciousness: The Meaning of D. H. Lawrence's Religious Quest, Mouton (The Hague, Netherlands), 1964.

Epicurus, Twayne (New York, NY), 1967.

The Reverent Discipline: Essays in Literary Criticism and Culture, foreword by G. Wilson Knight, University of Tennessee Press (Knoxville, TN), 1974.

The Burden of Vision: Dostoevsky's Spiritual Art, Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 1977, reprinted, Gateway Editions (Chicago, IL), 1985.

The Courage of Judgment: Essays in Criticism, Culture, and Society, foreword by Austin Warren, University of Tennessee Press (Knoxville, TN), 1982.

The Critic As Conservator: Essays in Literature, Society, and Culture, Catholic University of America Press (Washington, DC), 1992.

(Author of introduction) Henry Regnery, A Few Reasonable Words: Selected Writings, Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) Books (Wilmington, DE), 1996.

The Critical Legacy of Irving Babbitt: An Appreciation, Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) Books (Wilmington, DE), 1999.

Growing Wings to Overcome Gravity: Criticism As the Pursuit of Virtue, Mercer University Press (Macon, GA), 1999.

(Author of foreword) Cicero Bruce, W.H. Auden's Moran Imagination, Edwin Mellen Press (Lewiston, NY), 1998.


(Assistant editor and contributor, with George R. Hibbard and Allan Rodway) Renaissance and Modern Essays, Routledge & Kegan Paul (London, England, and Boston, MA), 1966.

Mansions of the Spirit: Essays in Literature and Religion, introduction by Thomas Merton, Hawthorn Books (New York, NY), 1967.

Promise of Greatness: The War of 1914-1918, foreword by Sir Herbert Read, John Day (New York, NY), 1968, Cassell (London, England), 1968.

The Politics of Twentieth-Century Novelists, foreword by John W. Aldridge, Hawthorn Books (New York, NY), 1971.

Simone Weil, The Simone Weil Reader, McKay (New York, NY), 1977, reprinted, Moyer Bell Limited (Mt. Kisco, NY), 1985.

(Editor and author of introduction) Irving Babbitt, Irving Babbitt: Representative Writings, University of Nebraska Press (Lincoln, NE), 1981.

(With Claes G. Ryn) Irving Babbitt in Our Time, Catholic University of America Press (Washington, DC), 1986.

Modern Age: The First Twenty-Five Years: A Selection, Liberty Press (Indianapolis, IN), 1988.

(Editor and author of introduction) Austin Warren, In Continuity: The Last Essays of Austin Warren, Mercer University Press (Macon, GA), 1996.

Contributor of translations, articles, essays and book reviews to Christian Scholar, Classical Journal, ModernAge, Journal of Religion, and a number of other journals in the United States and Europe.

SIDELIGHTS: George A. Panichas's career as a professor of English and comparative literature, an editor and critic, and a scholar of the interdisciplinary relationships between Western literature and other humanities, has produced works that critics rank among those of history's greatest conservative writers. Panichas has written and edited volumes about the art of criticism, religion, politics, and modern culture and society. He has also written about the works of such writers as D. H. Lawrence, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Simone Weil, Irving Babbitt, Austin Warren, and Henry Regnery.

Panichas wrote the introduction for A Few Reasonable Words: Selected Writings, a collection of works by the independent publisher and conservative author Henry Regnery, who befriended authors such as Russell Kirk, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, and Wyndham Lewis. Regnery proved himself a skilled and compelling writer in his essays on liberalism and conservatism, education, morality, and the perils of the twentieth century. The essays collected in A Few Reasonable Words deal with all of these subjects and others, establishing Regnery's clear and disciplined voice.

Panichas served as editor and author of the introduction for In Continuity: The Last Essays of Austin Warren, which contains some twenty years of Warren's essays. In such essays as "Carroll and His Alice Books," "Frost Revisited," "The Quest for Auden," and "A Survivor's Tribute to T. S. Eliot," Warren discusses the writings and philosophies of some of the greatest authors of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In Continuity represents Warren's "New England Common Sense" approach to criticism.

Panichas compiled The Critical Legacy of Irving Babbitt: An Appreciation after serving as editor of two other books about Babbitt's work, Irving Babbitt in Our Time (coedited with Claes G. Ryn), and Irving Babbitt: Representative Writings. Panichas's essays on Babbitt—a conservative teacher, writer, and New Humanist scholar—in Critical Legacy had been published before, some in other works by Panichas. However, as Jan Olof Bengtsson observed in a review for Humanitas, "The importance of their subject is a good reason for making them available in a separate single volume."

Bengtsson wrote, "George Panichas's new book summarizes and documents his contribution to the rediscovery and reappraisal of Babbitt that has been going on over the last decades. It also acknowledges and discusses the contributions of others," including Ryn and Milton Hindus. Bengtsson commented, "Scholars like Panichas—who build on the rich heritage of Babbitt and similar thinkers and writers, speak out on the central principles of morality and moral character, on the higher values and purposes of art and literature, on the true function of criticism, and on the moral goal of education, and who do so with clarity and self-assurance—are, unfortunately, rare in would be hard to find writing like Panichas's defense of Babbitt's principles in the chapter 'The Critical Mission,' a kind of manifesto of literary criticism that is reprinted in this volume."

A Harvard professor who was once a teacher of T. S. Eliot, Babbitt wrote widely about education, advocating the study of the classics and the great literary traditions of the world. He was a "creative traditionalist," said Bengtsson, who believed that humanity's basic truths had already been discovered and were "timeless insights waiting to be rediscovered and rearticulated." Babbitt also wrote extensively on religion as he understood it, based on meditation and without dogma. Panichas, in his essays, compares the writings of Babbitt with those of Simone Weil, Richard Weaver, and others. In concluding his review, Bengtsson wrote, "There will remain the need for the kind of understanding and defense of the basic, transpersonal outlines of true culture, educational discipline, classical humanism, universal values, and moral order that Panichas, in this exegesis of Babbitt and elsewhere, displays with such admirable force."

Growing Wings to Overcome Gravity: Criticism As the Pursuit of Virtue, is a conclusion to Panichas's critical trilogy, The Reverent Discipline: Essays in Literary Criticism and Culture (1974), The Courage of Judgment: Essays in Criticism, Culture, and Society (1982), and The Critic As Conservator: Essays in Literature, Society, and Culture (1992). Panichas told the Mercer University Press that the title Growing Wings to Overcome Gravity was inspired by a passage from Plato's Phaedrus. Panichas writes about the disturbing trends in the twentieth century away from moral and spiritual order and toward liberalism and modernism and about the ways in which literature and popular writing have influenced American and world culture and society. InGrowing Wings, Panichas decries the work of such writers as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Morris Dickstein, and Robert Coles and praises that of the scholars and critics Russell Kirk, Irving Babbitt, Austin Warren, and Richard Weaver, as well as the work of the literary masters D. H. Lawrence, Simone Weil, Joseph Conrad, and Fyodor Dostoevsky.

"Panichas's writings in praise of Babbitt and Dostoevsky at times ascend to a state of high rhetoric, effectively encapsulating the high accomplishment of these authors in an accurate, memorable, and moving manner," wrote James E. Person, Jr., in the Review of Metaphysics. John Attarian of the Intercollegiate Review praised Panichas's elegant and stately writing style and his abundance of "stark authentic courage born of fidelity to principle." Person compared Growing Wings to Kirk's Enemies of the Permanent Things (1969).

Person wrote, "As a critic, Panichas is firmly in the current of the great New Humanist critics of the early twentieth century....[Heis]a discriminator between the false and the true, . . . a prophet of the religion of taste. In this role, he traces the ills of twentieth century literature to the essentially Romantic vision of humanity articulated most forcefully by Rousseau, whose belief that 'man is born free and is everywhere in chains' has . . . [spawned] such destructive doctrines as Marxism, fascism, hedonism, Nazism, modern left-liberalism, and nihilism."



Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series, Volume 25, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1989.

International Who's Who 2000, 63rd edition, Europa (London, England), 2000.


Christian Scholar, summer, 1965.

Classical World, October, 1968.

Commentary, April, 1972.

Comparative Literature Studies, Volume III, number 1, 1966; April, 1994, review of The Critic As Conservator: Essays in Literature, Society, and Culture, p. 390.

Compass, May/June, 1968.

Cross Currents, spring, 1968.

Humanitas, fall, 1999, Jan Olof Bengtsson, "An Emblematic American," review of The Critical Legacy of Irving Babbitt: An Appreciation, p. 104.

Intercollegiate Review, fall/spring, 2000-2001, John Attarian, review of Growing Wings to Overcome Gravity: Criticism As the Pursuit of Virtue.

Journal of Modern Literature, February, 1974.

Journal of Peace Research, November, 2000, review of Growing Wings.

Journal of Religion, October, 1975.

Modern Age: A Quarterly Review, fall, 1974.

Modern Language Journal, October, 1968.

New Yorker, January 18, 1969.

Reference and Research Book News, March, 1993, review of The Critic As Conservator, p. 31.

Reflections . . . The Wanderer Review of Literature, Culture, the Arts, summer, 1989, review of Modern Age: The First Twenty-Five Years: A Selection, p. 2.

Review of Metaphysics, June, 2001, James E. Person, Jr., review of Growing Wings, p. 934.

Sewanee Review, January, 1989, review of Irving Babbitt in Our Time, p. 153; April, 1989, review of Modern Age, p. R 66.

South Atlantic Quarterly, autumn, 1968.

Spectator, December 13, 1968.

University Bookman, number 3, 1990, review of Modern Age, p. 35.


ISI Books, (April 30, 2002), "Meet Our Authors: George A. Panichas," review of The Critical Legacy of Irving Babbitt.

Mercer University Press, (April 30, 2002), "George A. Panichas."