New Criticism

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

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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 traditional forms of literary criticism with a problem, for the…

2500 words

Citation: Newton, Ken. "New Criticism". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 19 November 2005 [, accessed 12 June 2024.]

768 New Criticism 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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