New Criticism And famous Critics of New Criticism For UGC NET ENGLISH

The 20th-century literary theory known as “New Criticism” had a considerable impact on the area of literary studies. We will examine the foundational ideas of New Criticism in this blog post and highlight notable critics who were involved in this significant movement. Understanding the tenets and viewpoints of new criticism is extremely valuable for UGC NET English candidates since it improves their ability to do critical analysis. We will explore the lasting importance of New Criticism and its implications for preparing for the UGC NET English test by looking at the writings of notable New Critics including T.S. Eliot, Cleanth Brooks, and John Crowe Ransom.

What is New Criticism?

A prominent literary philosophy that first appeared in the early 20th century is known as New Criticism. It emphasises in-depth textual examination as well as the literary work’s underlying traits. The emphasis of New Criticism is on dissecting the language, imagery, symbolism, and form of the text rather than taking into account extraneous elements like the author’s intentions or historical context. It rejects the practise of summarising or paraphrasing the work and emphasises the significance of exploring the internal coherence of the text to unearth deeper meanings. The goal of New Criticism is to provide a thorough comprehension of literature based on its formal and aesthetic components by emphasising the intrinsic characteristics of the text.

Who Coined the Term New Criticism?

John Crowe Ransom, an American poet and literary critic, first used the term “New Criticism” in the early 20th century. Ransom was a member of the Fugitives, a group of poets and critics affiliated with Vanderbilt University, along with other significant individuals including Cleanth Brooks and Robert Penn Warren. They sought to reinvent literary analysis by emphasising close reading and the text’s formal components. Ransom popularised the movement and set it apart from other modern critical methods by coining the phrase “New Criticism.”

New Criticism examples?

As a literary theory, New Criticism gives a broad framework for analysing a variety of literary works but does not give specific examples. However, well-known critics associated with New Criticism used its fundamental principles to examine particular texts. For instance, Cleanth Brooks used New Criticism to analyse William Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury,” emphasising the language and narrative structure of the book. The important essay “The Waste Land” by T.S. Eliot, which closely examined the imagery, allusions, and formal components of the poem, served as an example of New Critical ideas. These illustrations show how New Criticism was used to delve deeper into the meaning of particular literary works.

Who is the father of New Criticism?

John Crowe Ransom is frequently cited as the founder of New Criticism. Ransom, a well-known poet and literary critic in the United States, was instrumental in creating and popularising the New Criticism movement. He made a key contribution to the creation and dissemination of the New Criticism’s tenets together with other notable individuals like Cleanth Brooks and Robert Penn Warren. For decades to come, the field of literary studies has been shaped by Ransom’s critical insights and use of the term “New Criticism” to describe this method of literary analysis.

Who are the famous critics of New Criticism?

A group of renowned critics emerged from the New Criticism movement, and their contributions had a profound impact on the study of literature. John Crowe Ransom, Cleanth Brooks, and T.S. Eliot are notable members of this movement. The phrase “New Criticism” and John Crowe Ransom’s important writing on formalism served as the foundation for the growth of the movement. Close reading was a priority for Cleanth Brooks, who wrote influential books like “The Well Wrought Urn.” T.S. Eliot’s literary criticism, especially “The Sacred Wood,” is an example of how he applied the ideas of the New Critical movement. The enduring scholarship of these critics provides UGC NET English candidates with insightful perspectives that serve as a firm foundation for understanding and analysing literary texts.

1. William Empson

Famous critic William Empson was a key figure in the New Criticism movement. His substantial contributions to literary analysis, such as “Seven Types of Ambiguity” and “The Structure of Complex Words,” made him a prominent figure in the field. Empson’s analytical prowess and painstaking study of poetic language, symbolism, and contradictions produced a new understanding of the literary intricacies. He popularised the idea of “ambiguity,” which was crucial to New Criticism since it highlighted the various interpretations and meanings that literary texts might have. Empson made significant contributions to the New Criticism, and those aiming for the UGC NET in English can learn from his work about the subtleties of poetic expression and the persuasiveness of language ambiguity.

2. I.A.Richards

Famous critic I.A. Richards was a key figure in the New Criticism movement. Richards made a name for himself in literary analysis thanks to his famous books, including “Principles of Literary Criticism” and “The Meaning of Meaning” (co-written with C.K. Ogden). His method put an emphasis on reading closely and objectively analysing language while interpreting literary texts. Richards popularised the idea of “practical criticism,” which encouraged a careful examination of the written words while concentrating on the reader’s reaction and the poetry as a whole. His contributions to New Criticism are still well-respected and give UGC NET English candidates helpful understandings of the difficulties in literary interpretation.

3. Cleanth Brooks

Renowned critic Cleanth Brooks made significant contributions to the New Criticism movement. His status as a significant figure in literary analysis was cemented by his seminal publications, such as “The Well Wrought Urn” and “Modern Poetry and the Tradition.” Brooks promoted close reading and stressed the analysis of formal components in poetry. In his view, poetry should be analysed independently from the aims and/or historical context of their creators. Brooks made significant contributions to literary criticism by offering perceptive interpretations and thorough examinations of the language and organisation of poetry. Aspirants for the UGC NET in English continue to be motivated by his substantial contributions, which provide insightful perspectives for their analysis of literary works.

4. F.R.Leavis

Influential critic F.R. Leavis made significant contributions to the New Criticism movement. Leavis became known for his influential books like “The Great Tradition” and “The Common Pursuit,” and he became a well-known name in literary analysis. He placed a strong emphasis on the value of close reading and evaluating literary works in light of their moral and social consequences. Leavis promoted judging literature according to its inherent worth and ability to reflect and criticise society. His careful reading of texts and emphasis on the moral and intellectual dimensions of literature had a significant impact on the New Criticism movement. Leavis’ concepts still motivate academics and provide UGC NET English students with insightful viewpoints as they interact with literary materials.

5. Wimsatt & Beardley

Prominent critics W.K. Wimsatt and Monroe C. Beardsley significantly influenced the New Criticism movement. Their joint book, “The Intentional Fallacy,” contested the widely held notion that a literary work’s meaning should be determined by the author’s intentions. According to Wimsatt and Beardsley, a text’s interpretation should be based exclusively on its inherent traits rather than the author’s intended meaning. To reveal the inherently complex and nuanced meanings contained inside a work, they emphasised the value of close reading and the formal element analysis. With an emphasis on the independence of the text itself, their critical insights revolutionised the field of literary criticism. Aspirants for the UGC NET in English continue to approach textual interpretation according to the theories of Wimsatt and Beardsley.

6. R.P.Blackmur

Recognised critic R.P. Blackmur made significant contributions to the New Criticism movement. Blackmur established himself as a notable character in literary analysis thanks to works like “Language as Gesture” and “The Double Agent,” which had a tremendous impact. He emphasised the value of reading closely and looking at language as a means of expression. Blackmur explored the complexity present in literary works by delving into the deep connection between language, thought, and the creative process. His perceptive analyses and in-depth comprehension of how form and content interact expanded the area of literary criticism. R.P. Blackmur’s theories are still relevant today, giving UGC NET English aspirants insightful viewpoints for examining literary works.

7. Allen Tate

Famous critic Allen Tate made important contributions to the New Criticism movement. Tate made his mark on literary criticism with books like “The Man of Letters in the Modern World” and “Essays of Four Decades,” which were both widely read and influential. He emphasised the value of close reading as well as the analysis of formal components in both poetry and prose. Tate emphasised the aesthetic elements of literary works by focusing on the complex interplay between form, structure, and message. His perceptive analyses and subtle comprehension of the subtleties of literature significantly improved the field of literary criticism. Allen Tate’s concepts still influence academics and give UGC NET English students insightful viewpoints when examining literary materials.

8. John Crowe Ransom

The New Criticism movement was significantly shaped by the eminent critic John Crowe Ransom. Ransom became a significant character in literary analysis thanks to his important writings like “The New Criticism” and “The World’s Body.” He placed a strong emphasis on the value of close reading and the analysis of formal components in poetry and literature. Ransom promoted a careful examination of language, imagery, and symbolism, emphasising their significant role in revealing deeper layers of meaning. His perceptive analyses and the invention of the term “New Criticism” contributed to the development of this method as a distinctive and significant school of literary analysis. As academics and UGC NET English candidates interact with literary works, John Crowe Ransom’s theories continue to motivate them.

9. Neo Aristotelian

The New Criticism movement was significantly shaped by the eminent critic John Crowe Ransom. Ransom became a significant character in literary analysis thanks to his important writings like “The New Criticism” and “The World’s Body.” He placed a strong emphasis on the value of close reading and the analysis of formal components in poetry and literature. Ransom promoted a careful examination of language, imagery, and symbolism, emphasising their significant role in revealing deeper layers of meaning. His perceptive analyses and the invention of the term “New Criticism” contributed to the development of this method as a distinctive and significant school of literary analysis. As academics and UGC NET English candidates interact with literary works, John Crowe Ransom’s theories continue to motivate them.

Conclusion

The New Criticism movement’s Neo-Aristotelian critics made a considerable impact on the field of literary analysis. Aristotle’s Poetics served as an inspiration for prominent individuals like R.S. Crane and Elder Olson, who adopted a Neo-Aristotelian philosophy. They placed a strong emphasis on analysing plot, character, theme, and other components that stem from Aristotle’s theories of tragedy and literary structure. These critics sought to examine the enduring components that contribute to a work’s efficacy by putting Aristotle’s precepts to use in the analysis of modern literature. The Neo-Aristotelian method offered a well-organized framework for comprehending and assessing literary works, and its effect may still be seen in literary criticism today.

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