(often initial capital letters) an approach to the critical study of literature that concentrates on textual explication and rejects historical and biographical study as irrelevant to an understanding of the total formal organization of a work.
Compare explication de texte.
Origin of new criticism
First recorded in 1940–45
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an approach to literary criticism through close analysis of the text
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012