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An important development in twentieth-century literary criti

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An important development in twentieth-century literary criti [#permalink] New post 21 Jun 2016, 05:57
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An important development in twentieth-century literary criticism was the growth of the New Criticism. The New Critics assumed that the methods devised for reading long poems could be applied to novels. In practice this meant a new emphasis in the reading of fiction on scrupulous textual analysis as a prerequisite for biographical and ideological comment. A novelist’s ideas were now significant mainly as components of his or her writing technique. Insisting on close attention to a text, the New Critics analyzed long passages of a novel and concentrated on discerning the development of symbolic patterns. By analyzing symbols in this way, the critic could show how the meaning of symbol accrued as it was repeated in different passages. This permitted a more complete understanding of the symbol to emerge than that which could be discovered through isolated symbol hunting. One novelist who benefited from this new emphasis on text was D. H.Lawrence, whose work was rescued from hostile critics who had attacked it as mere ideology.
1. According to the passage, the New Critics considered the ideas found in a novelist’s work to be

(A) equally conducive to treatment in poetry or fiction
(B) important primarily as aspects of the novelist’s style
(C) ambiguous and therefore stumbling blocks to informed critical judgment
(D) most easily analyzed when embodied in a symbol
(E) open to biographical speculation on the part of a critic

2. The author alludes to D. H. Lawrence in order to give an example of a novelist who

(A) sacrificed literary technique to ideology
(B) wrote both novels and long poems
(C) subscribed to the principles of the New Criticism
(D) was influenced by New Critical judgments on his work
(E) was reassessed because of New Critical principles

3. It can be inferred from the passage that the New Critics disliked isolated symbol-hunting because it tended to

(A) encourage simplistic critical platitudes
(B) reduce the role of the critic to that of a literary detective
(C) enforce an unnecessary distinction between criticism and symbolism
(D) oversimplify the meaning of a symbol
(E) ignore conventions associated with long poems

4. The passage implies that the New Critics would be most likely to agree with which of the following statements regarding the importance of biographical information in literary criticism?

(A) Critical speculation on the connection between a novelist’s childhood and his or her writing is irrelevant
(B) The most scrupulously complete literary criticism is that which emphasizes connections between a novelist’s life and his or her writing
(C) A novelist’s life experiences can contribute to an understanding of his or her novels, but treatment of these experiences must be preceded by textual analysis
(D) Information about a novelist’s life can provide important critical insight into his or her novels, but such information should be subordinated to ideological investigation
(E) Biographical criticism that can reveal a developing pattern in a novelist’s life is usually preferable to criticism that isolates only key events in that life


Last edited by bb on 28 Oct 2018, 21:19, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: GRE RC 1 [#permalink] New post 21 Jun 2016, 23:13
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Re: An important development in twentieth-century literary criti [#permalink] New post 12 Feb 2019, 02:07
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Re: An important development in twentieth-century literary criti   [#permalink] 12 Feb 2019, 02:07
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