A Short Note on New Criticism or the New School of Literary Criticism.

Introduction: We observe there are various manners and techniques, streams and irritable currents of criticism in style at present. Generally Modern literary criticism has an unclear change and it has been influenced by new discoveries and researches in the field of sciences, sociology, psychology, anthropology, linguistics and philosophy.

Psychological Criticism: If we notice in the first place we will find there is a psychological school of criticism. It concentrates on human psyche more and more exploring, the hidden motives and urges behind a work of art. It is believed that a work of art protects the unfulfilled desires and repressed characters of the writer. It wants to concentrate criticism more scientific and technical and objective.

The new school of Literary Criticism is divided into two groups. From complete knowledge of the psychology of the artist one may explain works of art, and the other finds more attractive psychological investigation of the processes of gratitude. The most remarkable critics of this school are I. A. Richards, Robert Graves, Trilling, Edmund Wilson, Kenneth Burke and others.

Sociological School: This type of criticism is regarded as literature and as a social institution, under the influence of socialism or communism. So, the followers of the sociological criticism try to make relationship between literature and society. They practice judicial criticism, political and ethical standards. They are not only students of literature and society but also the prophets of the future, monitors, essayists.

Ontogenetic Criticism: Sir Herbert Read’s criticism is considered as Ontogenetic Criticism. It tries to find a combination between the psychological criticism and the sociological criticism. In one of his essays he has mentioned that, the only kind of criticism which is basic is ontogenetic criticism. It is therefore matching not only to literary but also to ethical, theological.

New Criticism: Psychoanalytic and sociological criticisms had lost much of their style in the late thirties, and many of the younger critics turned to a group ‘for guidance that is to be known as the New Critics. These New Critics are mainly the followers of T. S. Eliot but they have also been deeply influenced by Coleridge, Henry James, Ezra Pound and I. A. Richards. The main ideal before the New Critics was to be free literature from the heaviness and competition of science. It was definitely an American movement. The New Critics have neglected the historical sense. So they have been criticized by Lionel Trilling.

When a poem, a play or a work of literature is analyzed, the New Critics very often set stress on ambiguity, irony, paradox and tension. In fiction they stressed upon ‘the point of view’ and the metaphoric use of language. In fiction, they laid emphasis on symbolism. The New Critics treated all literary works as if they were lyrics. Sometimes they provided enormous readings that strengthen the poem into a moral allegory.

Impressionistic School: The evaluation school of criticism is the rough school. It holds that the critic should make grateful communication with the work of art before him. He should avoid judgment and put aside all temptation to praise or blame. He should describe the impression made by the work of art in his own mind in free gratitude. An impressionist tries to be truthful to reality. He is subjective and autobiographical. He gives his own impressions about a work of art. Impressionism favors art for art’s sake. The only necessary equipment of the impressionistic critic is his sensibility.

Exegetical Criticism: Another kind of criticism which is getting popularity is known as Exegetical criticism. The greatest merit of this type of criticism is that it clears the recordings of literary works of art from inaccuracies and restores them to their original state. It tries to recover the meanings which words bore at the time when they were written. For this great scholarship is needed. Only scholarship can reconstruct the full symbolic implications pi the language.

1 comment

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