New Criticism

Dr. S. Devika

New Criticism is a school of Anglo-American literary critical theory that was influential from the late 1920s and prominent until the late 1960s, whose founding fathers were two colossal figures of the critical world, T.S.Eliot and I.A.Richards. Though influenced by Russian Formalism, it developed independently on both sides of the Atlantic, in England and the United States, centering around literary devices and the author’s craft with an exclusive focus on poetry. It insisted on the intrinsic value of a work of art and investigated the individual work as an independent unit of meaning. It was opposed to the critical practice of bringing historical, socio-political or biographical data to bear on the interpretation of a work.

The term ‘New Criticism’, though put into circulation by J.E. Spingarn in his booklet The New Criticism in 1911,  was made current by John Crowe Ransom’s  The New Criticism (1941), a work that organized the…

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