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What are some characteristics of new criticism?

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nidhibansal1979 | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted May 14, 2013 at 3:49 AM via web

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What are some characteristics of new criticism?

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handbooktoliterature | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted May 14, 2013 at 11:17 AM (Answer #1)

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New Criticism is generally concerned with finding the intrinsic worth of litearture. It focuses on "the work of art as an object in itself" and it uses different language than those science (Harmon and Holman 337). 

It grew from American and English writers in the 1930s, including T.S. Elliot and Ezra pound, and was pushed forward by critics John Ranson and William Empson.

New Criticism has a hard time defining itself, except in declaring what it isn't. It is not traditional and it does not allow for talking about art in "general terms not directly relating to the artwork itself" (Harmon and Holman 337). 

New Criticism focuses often image, symbol, and meaning over all other aspects of writing including genre and form. Typically this approach works best with verse over prose writing as New Criticism falls short when applied to longer fiction or drama. 


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