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Post–World War I school of Anglo-American literary theory that insisted on the intrinsic value of a work of art and focused attention on the individual work alone as an independent unit of meaning. New Critics were opposed to the practice of bringing historical or biographical data to bear on the interpretation of a work. The primary critical technique was analytic (or close) reading of the text, concentrating on its language, imagery, and emotional or intellectual tensions. Critics associated with the movement include I. A. Richards, William Empson, John Crowe Ransom, and R. P. Blackmur (1904–1965).
Variants of NEW CRITICISM
New Criticism or formalism
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on New Criticism, visit Britannica.com.