Impractical criticism
Close reading and the contingencies of history
in Texts and readers in the Age of Marvell
Abstract only
Log-in for full text

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

manchesterhive requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals - to see content that you/your institution should have access to, please log in through your library system or with your personal username and password.

If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/extracts and download selected front and end matter. 

Institutions can purchase access to individual titles; please contact for pricing options.


If you have an access token for this content, you can redeem this via the link below:

Redeem token

William Empson's work had a profound impact on the critical movement known as 'New Criticism', whose major exponents viewed poems as elaborate structures of complex meanings to which the critic would devote rigorous attention. New Criticism thrived in the twentieth century, because it mapped well into the classroom of a growing academic discipline, whereby a teacher could convey to spellbound students the mysteries revealed by the craft of close reading. Practical Criticism exhibits all the virtues and liabilities that imbued this critical practice. Stephen Greenblatt emphasised that New Historicism should exhibit a greater methodological self-awareness than either the older historicism or New Criticism. Drawing largely from anthropologists such as Clifford Geertz, Greenblatt urged interpretations that were fully conscious of their own cultural contingencies. Theory and feminist criticism certainly helped shake up the boundaries between literature and culture.


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 51 15 1
Full Text Views 34 7 0
PDF Downloads 24 6 0