The New Criticism and Other Western Formalisms 
The New Criticism and Other Western Formalisms
by Yale / Paul H. Fry
Video Lecture 6 of 26
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Date Added: October 26, 2009

Lecture Description


In this second lecture on formalism, Professor Paul Fry begins by exploring the implications of Wimsatt and Beardsley's theory of literary interpretation by applying them to Yeats's "Lapis Lazuli." He then maps the development of Anglo-American formalism from Modernist literature to the American and British academies. Some time is spent examining the similarities and differences between the works of I. A. Richards and his protegé, William Empson. The lecture finally turns to a discussion of Cleanth Brooks's conception of unity.

Reading assignment:

Richards, Ivor A. and Monroe Beardsley. "Principles of Literary Criticism." In The Critical Tradition, pp. 764-73

Empson, William. Seven Types of Ambiguity. New York: New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1966, pp. 16-19

Brooks, Cleanth. "Irony as a Principle of Structure." In The Critical Tradition, pp. 799-806

Course Index

Course Description

In this course, Prof. Paul H. Fry gives 26 video lectures on Theory of Literature. This is a survey of the main trends in twentieth-century literary theory. Lectures will provide background for the readings and explicate them where appropriate, while attempting to develop a coherent overall context that incorporates philosophical and social perspectives on the recurrent questions: what is literature, how is it produced, how can it be understood, and what is its purpose?


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