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Definition of NEW CRITICISM
: an analytic literary criticism that is marked by concentration on the language, imagery, and emotional or intellectual tensions in literary works
— New Criticnoun
— New Criticaladjective
First Known Use of NEW CRITICISM
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).