no. 4

Practical Criticism: Origin and Purpose
Author:Li Cao    Time:2021-03-26    Click:

Title: Practical Criticism: Origin and Purpose

Abstract: I. A. Richards is a pathbreaker and one of the most important founders of 20th century literary criticism. He created the theory and method of “practical criticism” which quickly shapes the teaching of English literature into a new and disciplinary subject of higher learning in Cambridge and beyond. This paper discusses the origin and significance of “practical criticism” using basically a historical and analytical approach. The author argues that belief in instrumental rationality and practical value forms the initiative drive of “practical criticism.” What it concerns about most is reading competence rather than literary criticism in a strict sense. Therefore, developing students’ ability to read, differentiate and judge is the main purpose of “practical criticism.”

Keywords: I. A. Richards, practical criticism, teaching of literature

Author: Li Cao, Professor, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.

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