The Alexander Lectures for 1949-50. In his Preface, Professor Brown says, "Isolating a single element or group of elements in the novel, and considering it in unreal separation from all the other elements which it actually fuses, is artificial, but so is all criticism. The artificiality is justified if when one turns back from the criticism to the novels these appear more intelligible and more delightful. That is the test." Applying the test to Dr. Brown's present work, the method is more than justified by the results. they are titled: "Phrase, Character, Incident," "Expanding Symbols," "Interweaving Themes," and "Rhythm in E.M. Forster's A Passage to India."
“In his illustrations, time and again, Professor Brown points out themes or symbols—like the hay in Howard’s End—that we haven’t noticed, and that make us realize more subtle thought and craftsmanship on the part of the novelist than we had been aware of. Again, it’s in this deepening of our appreciation of a work that the value of Mr. Brown’s book lies”
“Mr. Brown writes pleasantly and reflectively. . . . The best parts of Mr. Brown’s book trace the ‘growth of a symbol as it accretes meaning from a succession of contexts’”
“It is poignantly fitting that the last published work of E.K. Brown should be entitled Rhythm in the Novel and should deal with various aspects of those mysterious patterns of repetition which constantly occur in life and which the best novelists strive to depict in their work. . . . Rhythm in the Novel is therefore critical writing at its best. Brown reveals an ancient truth: to understand a man’s work, you must love it”
“The writing in these essays is notably graceful, and the ideas luminously clear. Though modest in scope they are a definite contribution to the esthetics of the novel. . . . Aside from their intrinsic worth they point up how great a loss to contemporary criticism his untimely death was”