Modern Literary Theory

A literary movement that started in the late 1920s and 1930s and originated in reaction to traditional criticism that new critics saw as largely concerned with matters extraneous to the text with the biography or psychology of the author or thworks relationshop to literarry history

New criticism proposed tat a work of literary art should be regarded as autonomous and so beyond itself

A poem consists less of a series of referential and verifiable statements about the real world beyond it than of the presentations and sophisticated organizations of a set of complex experiences .

Definition of The New Criticism

The New Criticism is a type of formalist literary criticism that reached its height during 1940s and 1950s and that received its name form John Crawe Ransom ‘s book The New Criticism.

New critics treat a work f literature as if it were a self contained , self referential object.

Rather than basing their interpretations of a text on the readers response the authors stated intentions or parallels between the text and historical contexts such as authors life.

New Critics perform a close reading concentrating on the relationships within the text that give it its own distinctive  character or form. New critics emphasize that the structure of a work should not be divorced from meaning, viewing the two as constituting a quasi organic unity.

Special attention is paid to repetition, particularly of images or symbols but also of sound effects and rhytms in poetry.

New Critics especially appreciate the use of literary devices  such as irony to achieve a balance or reconciliation between dissimilar even conflicting, elements in a text.

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