Richards, I(vor) A(rmstrong)

Richards, I(vor) A(rmstrong)

biographical name

(born Feb. 26, 1893, Sandbach, Cheshire, Eng.—died Sept. 7, 1979, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire) English critic and poet. While a lecturer at Cambridge, Richards wrote influential works, including Principles of Literary Criticism (1924), in which he introduced a new way of reading poetry that led to the New Criticism. A student of psychology, he concluded that poetry performs a therapeutic function by coordinating various human impulses into an aesthetic whole. In the 1930s he spent much of his time developing Basic English, a language system of 850 basic words that he believed would promote international understanding. He taught at Harvard University from 1944.

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