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Glossary of Literary Theory
by Greig E. Henderson and Christopher Brown

Practical criticism:

Applied criticism; explication de texte; the analysis, interpretation, and evaluation of particular works and writings. In the New Criticism, practical criticism involves the close reading of individual texts with particular attention to their intrinsic verbal texture and structure. In Practical Criticism (1929), I. A. Richards analyzes the responses of his students to poems unfamiliar to them in order to point out characteristic errors in interpretation: mnemonic irrelevances, stock responses, doctrinal adhesions, technical presuppositions, general critical presuppositions, and so forth.

© Greig E. Henderson and Christopher Brown,
University of Toronto
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University of Toronto English Library
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Last modified: March 31, 1997