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The René Wellek Prize Citation 1981

Lawrence Manley, Convention, 1500-1700 (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1980)

The Committee on Honors and Awards of the American Comparative Literature Association announces the award of the Rene Wellek Prize to Lawrence Manley for his book, Convention, 1500-1700 (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1980), an illuminating analysis and interpretation of complex theoretical issues in the literary and philosophical thought of the Renaissance.  While the emphasis in on the beginnings of literary criticism in England, the author gives considerable attention to classical and medieval backgrounds and to the lively and sustained interplay of English and continental speculation.  The study is both learned and lucid, based on wide and considered reading of an immense body of primary and secondary literature, skillful in the elucidation of concepts, keenly alive to the modes of their transformation, and brilliant in the synthesis of disparate scholarly and critical materials.  It is an impressive contribution to our knowledge and understanding of a major phase of the history of literary criticism.

The 1981 René Wellek Prize Committee
Victor Lange (Chair), Princeton University
Haskell M. Block, University of New York at Binghamton
Ralph E. Matlaw, University of Chicago