This section is about the origin and evolution of the meanings of the expression "criticism".
One of the most influential movements in modern critical scholarship, the New Criticism is a philosophy of literary interpretation that stresses the importance of studying literary texts as complete works of art in themselves. Although the term New Criticism was first coined in the nineteenth century, it was not until American critic and poet John Crow Ransom, founder of the Kenyon Review wrote a book titled The New Criticismthat it became established in common academic and literary usage.
In essence, the New Critics were reacting against established trends in American criticism, arguing for the primacy of the literary text instead of focusing on interpretations based on context.
Wellek writes that among the growing number of New Critics in the s, there were few that could be easily grouped together. In addition to rallying against traditional modes of literary interpretations, the most significant contribution made by the New Critics, according to Wellek, was the success with which they established criticism itself as a major academic discipline.
But in contrast to traditional literary criticism, which emphasized the context and background of a text almost as much as the text itself, the New Critics argued that literary texts were complete in and of themselves.
Additionally, theories of New Criticism elevate the role of criticism in academics—according to them, criticism is crucial to help maintain poetry and language, and in aiding their development, the New Critics propose, criticism is really an Critics and criticism essays in method part of social development.
Most studies of New Criticism identify it as a formalist mode of critical interpretation, focusing on a close reading of the technicalities, structure, themes, and message of the literary text.
Many of the literary qualities held in high esteem by the New Critics were first espoused in the prose works of Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and the New Critics considered his work on critical theory as a fundamental starting point in their principles of literary criticism.
In this work, Brooks, in addition to articulating the theories of New Criticism, also interprets many seminal poetic texts using the principles of the New Critics. Although New Critics applied their principles of literary study to many genres in literature, they held poetry in high regard, viewing it as the best exemplification of the literary values they espoused.
Among the American New Critics, a nucleus of writers and critics, including Penn Warren, Ransom, and Tate set about defining their notion of a literary aesthetic, especially as it related to poetry, during the s.
They published their views in a bi-monthly literary review called The Fugitive, and worked to create what they believed was a literary renaissance in the South, a view of writing and studying poetry that they saw as the essence of modernism, and a sustained and valid response to the traditionally sentimental literary conventions of the South.
In later years, the New Critics expanded their definition of the poetic aesthetic, theorizing that poetry, as a work of art, is the ultimate form of communication, complete in meaning and form in itself. One of the most influential writers of New Criticism poetic theory was I.
Richards—his book Practical Criticism detailed experiments in critical interpretations of poetry in which students were asked to study texts of poems with no accompanying information on the author, or even the title of the works.
An unexpected result of the wide variety of student responses was a realization regarding the importance of teaching the act of critical thinking and interpretation. For later New Critics, including William Empson, it was this, the study of language and form that became the subject of his book Seven Types of Ambiguitya work in which he explored the development of systematic modes of literary interpretation.
New Criticism continues to be studied as part of twentieth-century formalist theories of literature. In his essay outlining the history and development of the New Criticism, John R.
Willingham points out that although the proponents of New Criticism are considered creators of a modernist mode of literary interpretation, many of their theories derive from earlier poetic principles, such as those articulated by Coleridge.
As a literary movement, New Criticism achieved its most popularity in the s, and a large number of periodicals espousing these ideas began to be published at that time, including Southern Review, Kenyon Review, and others. Established journals also eagerly accepted many New Critics as contributors, making criticism itself a dominant field of study in the classroom.
Their method of critical study was perceived as being too restrictive, and their demands on the reader seen as too authoritarian. More recent evaluations of the New Criticism have defended their original intent—to refocus attention on the literary work itself, rather than the writer or even the reader.On the OUPblog “Though Bateson’s career at Oxford was difficult (he failed to become a fellow at his college until ), he founded the journal Essays in Criticism and was an influential teacher and mentor to New Left critics including Stuart Hall, Graham Martin, and Raymond Williams, as well as a number of poets and writers including Al Alvarez, .
New Criticism Definition; New Criticism, in simple terms, is a critical movement that propagates the idea of ‘art for art’s sake’.” In focusing on the text itself (“close reading“), New Critics intentionally ignore the author, the reader, and the social context.
New Criticism is an approach to literature made popular in the 20th century that evolved out of formalist criticism. Qualitative research has been challenged with persistent criticisms for its unreliability, or that it is deficient relative to more quantitative.
The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue. Critics of action research question the “fuzzy methodology” in action research and the equally “fuzzy answers” that it gets (Walter, ).
The redefinition of the research question and the refining of methodology takes time, making the entire research process time-exhaustive and complex. The New Criticism - Essay The New Criticism (essays Wellek defends the theories of New Criticism against its critics who dismiss it as an isolated method of .