Definition of literary criticism in US English:

literary criticism


  • The art or practice of judging and commenting on the qualities and character of literary works.

    Modern critics tend to pass over the concerns of earlier centuries, such as formal categories or the place of moral or aesthetic value; some analyze texts as self-contained entities, in isolation from external factors, while others discuss them in terms of spheres such as biography, history, Marxism, or feminism. Since the 1950s, the concepts of meaning and authorship have been explored or questioned by structuralism, poststructuralism, postmodernism, and deconstruction

    • ‘How does its emergence affect the overarching patterns of American letters and the enterprise of modern literary criticism?’
    • ‘He revived the art of the essay, and brought new psychological and political insight into literary criticism.’
    • ‘Instead, the poem sounds like an essay written in the professional mode of literary criticism.’
    • ‘If all that literary criticism set out to do was to say that the writer was merely a product of his time, then I, for one, suspect my job would be much easier.’
    • ‘He was a pioneer in various genres including satire, literary criticism, and drama.’
    • ‘Apologies to anyone omitted in film and literary criticism.’
    • ‘My exegetical method combines elements of postmodernist literary criticism and canonical criticism.’
    • ‘To understand the Bible, we have to work through volumes of literary criticism and hermeneutical theory.’
    • ‘Judging by the amount of literary criticism published, it seems clear that this is an effective, or at least very productive, technique of reading.’
    • ‘Many of these essays are playful and creative in ways that ethnic literary criticism has not been in the past.’
    • ‘It thus comments on both antebellum literature and twentieth-century literary criticism.’
    • ‘Many of today's fantasies are connected to the role of computers in our lives, in literature and literary criticism.’
    • ‘We hope this essay proves a useful tool for scholars beginning research in Asian American literature and literary criticism.’
    • ‘Anthologies are themselves a kind of literary criticism, a selection of work that shows the editor's taste and thought process.’
    • ‘This is, after all, a period when New Historicism has dominated literary criticism, and the masque was the most overtly political of all Stuart cultural forms.’
    • ‘Paradoxically, contemporary literary criticism's emphasis on the marginal has made the marginal central.’
    • ‘In literary criticism there is a tendency to look for geographic or temporal groups of influence.’
    • ‘Bringing literary criticism into the creative writing workshop is problematic.’
    • ‘Sometimes they are a substitute for poets writing literary criticism.’
    • ‘Both his poetry from 1926 on and his essays in literary criticism attest to his spiritual independence.’


literary criticism

/ˈlidəˌrerē ˈkridəˌsizəm/