New Criticism

An approach of Literary Criticism dominant in the Unites States in the 1940's and 1950's, that focuses on a poem or other literary work as an artistic object posessing value in and of itself. The literary work is considered apart from any releationship the work may have to the life or the intentions of the author (Intentional Fallacy), to social or cultural conditions at the time of its production , or to its effect on the reader (Affective Fallacy). The Method of New Criticism, which has been more successfully practiced on lyric poetry and other short texts than on plays or novels, is close reading of the text and detailed analysisof what New Critics consider to be the principal elements of a literary work: words, images and symbols (rather than plot and character).

People of the Movement

The movement of New Criticism was originated by Allen Tate and John Crowe Ransom in the US south. Its practitioners include T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound.

Related Movements

Return to Home Base