New criticism

Formalism theory[ edit ] New Criticism developed as a reaction to the older philological and literary history schools of the US North, which, influenced by nineteenth-century German scholarship, focused on the history and meaning of individual words and their relation to foreign and ancient languages, comparative sources, and the biographical circumstances of the authors. These approaches, it was felt, tended to distract from the text and meaning of a poem and entirely neglect its aesthetic qualities in favor of teaching about external factors. On the other hand, the literary appreciation school, which limited itself to pointing out the "beauties" and morally elevating qualities of the text, was disparaged by the New Critics as too subjective and emotional.

New criticism

The object of textual criticism is to restore as nearly as possible the original text of a work the autograph of which has been lost. In this textual criticism differs from higher criticismwhose aim is to investigate the sources of a literary work, study New criticism composition, determine its date and trace its influence and various transformations throughout the ages.

Necessity and processes of textual criticism Textual criticism has no application except in regard to a work whose original does not exist; for, if extant, it could easily be reproduced in photogravure, or published, once it had been correctly deciphered. But no autograph of the inspired writings has been transmitted to us, any more than have the originals of profane works of the same era.

The ancients had not that superstitious veneration for original manuscripts which we have today.

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In very early times the Jews were wont to destroy the sacred books no longer in use, either by burying them with the remains of holy personages or by hiding them in what was called a ghenizah. This explains why the Hebrew Bibles are, comparatively speaking, not very ancient, although the Jews always made a practice of writing the Holy Books on skin or parchment.

In the first centuries of the Christian era the Greeks and Latins generally used papyrus, a material that quickly wears out and falls to pieces. It was not until the fourth century that parchment was commonly used, and it is also from that time that our oldest manuscripts of the Septuagint and the New Testament date.

Nothing short of a continuous miracle could have brought the text of the inspired writers down to us without alteration or corruption, and Divine Providencewho exercises, as it were, an economy of the supernaturaland never needlessly multiplies prodigies, did not will such a miracle.

Indeed it New criticism a material impossibility to transcribe absolutely without error the whole of a long work; and a priori one may be sure, that New criticism two copies of the same original will be alike in every detail. A typical example of this is furnished by the Augsburg Confession, presented to the Emperor Charles V on the evening of 25 June,in both Latin and German.

It was printed in September of the same year and published two months later by its author, Melanchthon ; thirty-five copies of it are known to have been made in the second half of the yearnine of them by signers of the Confession.

But, as the two originals are lost, and the copies do not agree either with one another or with the first editions, we are not sure of having the authentic text in its minutest details. From which example it is easy to appreciate the necessity of textual criticism in the case of works so ancient and so often transcribed as the books of the Bible.

Classes of textual errors Corruptions introduced by copyists may be divided into two classes: To these different causes are due the observed variations between manuscripts. Involuntary errors Involuntary Errors may be distinguished as those of sight, hearing, and memory, respectively.

Sight readily confounds similar letters and words.

New Criticism | Anglo-American literary criticism |

Thus, as can be seen in the pictured example, similar letters are easily interchanged in square Hebrew, Greek uncial and Greek cursive writing. When the exemplar is written stichometrically, the eye of the copyist is apt to skip one or several lines.

To this class of errors belongs the very frequent phenomenon of homoeoteleuton, i. A similar thing happens when several phrases beginning with the same words come together.

New criticism

Secondly, errors of hearing are of common occurrence when one writes from dictation. But even with the exemplar before him, a copyist gets into the habit of pronouncing in a low tone, or to himself, the phrase he is transcribing, and thus is likely to mistake one word for another which sounds like it.

This explains numberless cases of "itacism" met with in Greek manuscriptsespecially the continual interchange of hymeis and hemeis.

Lastly, an error of memory occurs when, instead of writing down the passage just read to him, the copyist unconsciously substitutes some other, familiar, text which he knows by heart, or when he is influenced by the remembrance of a parallel passage.

Errors of this kind are most frequent in the transcription of the Gospels. Errors wholly or partly intentional Deliberate corruption of the Sacred Text has always been rather rare, Marcion's case being exceptional.

Hort [Introductionp. It also happens that, in perfectly good faithhe changes passages which seem to him corrupt because he fails to understand them, that he adds a word which he deems necessary for the elucidation of the meaning, that he substitutes a more correct grammatical form, or what he considers a more exact expression, and that he harmonizes parallel passages.

Thus it is that the shorter form of the Lord's Prayer in Luke Most errors of this kind proceed from inserting in the text marginal notes which, in the copy to be transcribed, were but variants, explanations, parallel passages, simple remarks, or perhaps the conjectures of some studious reader.

All critics have observed the predilection of copyists for the most verbose texts and their tendency to complete citations that are too brief; hence it is that an interpolation stands a far better chance of being perpetuated than an omission.

Other considerations From the foregoing it is easy to understand how numerous would be the readings of a text transcribed as often as the Bibleand, as only one reading of any given passage can represent the original, it follows that all the others are necessarily faulty.

Mill estimated the variants of the New Testament at 30, and since the discovery of so many manuscripts unknown to Mill this number has greatly increased. Of course by far the greater number of these variants are in unimportant details, as, for instance, orthographic peculiarities, inverted words, and the like.

Again, many others are totally improbable, or else have such slight warrant as not to deserve even cursory notice.New Criticism was a formalist movement in literary theory that dominated American literary criticism in the middle decades of the 20th century. It emphasized close reading, particularly of poetry, to discover how a work of literature functioned as a self-contained, self-referential aesthetic movement derived its name from John Crowe Ransom's book The New Criticism.

an analytic literary criticism that is marked by concentration on the language, imagery, and emotional or intellectual tensions in literary works. New Criticism: New Criticism, post-World War I school of Anglo-American literary critical theory that insisted on the intrinsic value of a work of art and focused attention on the individual work alone as an independent unit of meaning.

New criticism

It was opposed to the critical practice of bringing historical or. Textual criticism is a branch of textual scholarship, philology, and literary criticism that is concerned with the identification of textual variants in either manuscripts or printed books.

Scribes can make alterations when copying manuscripts by hand. Given a manuscript copy, several or many copies, but not the original document, the textual critic might seek to reconstruct the original text. The object of textual criticism is to restore as nearly as possible the original text of a work the autograph of which has been lost.

In this textual criticism differs from higher criticism, whose aim is to investigate the sources of a literary work, study its composition, determine its date and. John Crowe Ransom was one of the first New Critics to formalize a methodology of criticism that would isolate the poet from the poem.

Ransom is known today almost as much for his verse as for his criticism, but it is his formalistic theories that created a sense of objectivity that he felt was lacking in the Humanists, moralists, Romanticists, and others who wished to elevate context over alphabetnyc.coms: 1.

New Criticism | Poetry Foundation