What is twentieth century literary criticism or contemporary literary criticism?

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gbeatty eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The two terms are important and sweeping, but there is no single answer. By that I mean, they simply mean literary criticism in the twentieth century, or literary criticism at the present time (the twenty-first century). There are many schools of criticism that make up these categories. For example, fairly early in the twentieth century New Criticism, which focused on the literary work as a self-contained object, was dominant. Later, there were numerous other schools: Marxist literary criticism, new historicism, structuralism, feminist literary theory, and so on.