new criticism

new critic, New Critic.
(often caps.) an approach to the critical study of literature that concentrates on textual explication and rejects historical and biographical study as irrelevant to an understanding of the total formal organization of a work. Cf. explication de texte.
[1940-45]

* * *

Post–World War I school of Anglo-American literary theory that insisted on the intrinsic value of a work of art and focused attention on the individual work alone as an independent unit of meaning.

New Critics were opposed to the practice of bringing historical or biographical data to bear on the interpretation of a work. The primary critical technique was analytic (or "close") reading of the text, concentrating on its language, imagery, and emotional or intellectual tensions. Critics associated with the movement include I. A. Richards, William Empson, John Crowe Ransom, and R. P. Blackmur (1904–1965).

* * *

▪ Anglo-American literary criticism
      post-World War I school of Anglo-American literary critical theory that insisted on the intrinsic value of a work of art and focused attention on the individual work alone as an independent unit of meaning. It was opposed to the critical practice of bringing historical or biographical data to bear on the interpretation of a work.

      The primary technique employed in the New Critical approach is close, analytic reading of the text, a technique as old as Aristotle's Poetics. The New Critics, however, introduced refinements into the method. Early seminal works in the tradition were those of the English critics I.A. Richards (Richards, I.A.) (The Principles of Literary Criticism, 1924) and William Empson (Empson, Sir William) (Seven Types of Ambiguity, 1930). The movement did not have a name, however, until the appearance of John Crowe Ransom (Ransom, John Crowe)'s The New Criticism (1941), a work that loosely organized the principles of this basically linguistic approach to literature. Some figures associated with New Criticism include Cleanth Brooks (Brooks, Cleanth), R.P. Blackmur, and W.K. Wimsatt, Jr., although their critical pronouncements, along with those of Ransom, Richards, and Empson, are somewhat diverse and do not readily constitute a uniform school of thought. New Criticism was eclipsed as the dominant mode of Anglo-American literary criticism by the 1970s.

      To the New Critics, poetry was a special kind of discourse, a means of communicating feeling and thought that could not be expressed in any other kind of language. It differed qualitatively from the language of science or philosophy, but it conveyed equally valid meanings. Such critics set out to define and formalize the qualities of poetic thought and language, utilizing the technique of close reading with special emphasis on the connotative and associative values of words and on the multiple functions of figurative language—symbol, metaphor, and image—in the work. Poetic form and content could not be separated, since the experience of reading the particular words of a poem, including its unresolved tensions, is the poem's “meaning.”

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • New Criticism — was a movement in literary theory that dominated American literary criticism in the middle decades of the 20th century. It emphasized close reading, particularly of poetry, to discover how a work of literature functioned as a self contained, self …   Wikipedia

  • New Criticism — bezeichnet eine vor allem in den USA, in geringerem Maße auch in England beheimatete literaturkritische und –theoretische Richtung. Sie entwickelte sich in den 1920er Jahren und war in den USA bis in die 1970er Jahre die bestimmende Art der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • New Criticism —   [ njuː krɪtɪsɪzm; englisch »neue Kritik«] der, , amerikanische, besonders 1930 60 wirksame formalästhetische Richtung der Literaturwissenschaft, die sich aus der Bewegung der Fugitives entwickelte. Beeinflusst v. a. von S. T. Coleridge, T. S.… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • New Criticism — Le new criticism est le courant dominant de la critique littéraire anglo saxonne des années 1920 jusqu au début des années 1960. Personnalités du New Criticism Monroe Beardsley Cleanth Brooks T.S. Eliot William Empson F.R. Leavis John Crowe… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • New Criticism — New Cri|ti|cism [ nju: kritisizm] der; <aus gleichbed. engl. amerik. new criticism, eigtl. »neue Kritik«> eine vorwiegend formalästhetisch wertende Form der Literaturkritik in den USA u. in England …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • new criticism — ● new criticism nom masculin Mouvement littéraire et critique constitué aux États Unis dans les années 1930 par des créateurs soucieux d art poétique et d enracinement culturel (apologie du Sud) et qui a persisté jusqu aux années 1950. (Il fut… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • New Criticism — ☆ New Criticism n. a method of literary analysis, in vogue in the mid 20th cent., stressing close examination of the text itself, its tone, imagery, structure, etc …   English World dictionary

  • New criticism — Este artículo o sección sobre literatura necesita ser wikificado con un formato acorde a las convenciones de estilo. Por favor, edítalo para que las cumpla. Mientras tanto, no elimines este aviso puesto el 24 de octubre de 2007. También puedes… …   Wikipedia Español

  • NEW CRITICISM —    Beginning in the late 1930s, New Criticism became the dominant method of critical inquiry. It evaluates literary texts, including films, based upon a set of formal criteria involving attention to technical aspects of a work of art. The… …   Westerns in Cinema

  • New criticism — Le new criticism est le courant dominant de la critique littéraire anglo saxonne des années 1920 jusqu au début des années 1960. Personnalités du New Criticism Monroe Beardsley Cleanth Brooks T. S. Eliot William Empson F. R. Leavis John Crowe… …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.