New Criticism

(2501 words)
  • Ken Newton (University of Dundee)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

New Criticism became a critical force in the United States in the late 1930s and until the 1960s was the most powerful critical perspective in American literary criticism. The major figures were John Crowe Ransom, Allen Tate, Cleanth Brooks, Robert Penn Warren, and W. K.Wimsatt, Jr. Other figures more loosely associated with it were F. R. Leavis, Kenneth Burke, René Wellek, Yvor Winters, and R. P. Blackmur. Though it is primarily an American phenomenon, the significant influences on it were British by birth or adoption. The criticism of T. S. Eliot was crucial. Eliot had great status as one of the leading Modernist writers and his criticism was therefore perceived to be of special value. Modernist literature presented …

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Citation:
Newton, Ken. "New Criticism". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 19 November 2005
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=768, accessed 25 July 2014.]