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Practical Criticism: A Study of Literary Judgment
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Practical Criticism: A Study of Literary Judgment

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  105 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Linguist, critic, poet, psychologist, I. A. Richards (1893-1979) was one of the great polymaths of the twentieth century. He is best known, however, as one of the founders of modern literary critical theory. Richards revolutionized criticism by turning away from biographical and historical readings as well as from the aesthetic impressionism. Seeking a more exacting approa ...more
Paperback, 380 pages
Published September 30th 2004 by Routledge (first published 1929)
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Andy Hickmott
An empirical experiment in literary criticism. Richards' discussion of his students reviews of anonymous poems is side-splittingly funny. But of his more sober conclusions, the most notable and useful is his four-fold deconstruction of 'meaning', viz., in its aspects of sense, feeling, tone and intention. That is:

- What is actually being said by a poem?
- What attitude does the poem show towards its subject?
- What attitude to its reader?
- What is the poet's intention?
Andrew Gorman
Oct 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
Too much hierarchy & assumptions about texts being self-contained systems of language.
Jun 23, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The protocols are a curious read, and the whole exercise in close reading is well conceived and does encourage and train the critical mind, but the results as presented seem to be somewhat dubious in openly begging the question. In fact, Richards' "Principles of Literary Criticism" were published 5 years earlier, and in referring to them quite often the author makes it clear that the experiment was never meant to be a real empirical test for his theories, but something of a didactic aid. The dis ...more
Another of the odd books I stumbled on as I decommissioned my mother's library prior to house sale. My grandmother had been an English teacher, I assumed this came from her, can't see my hard-headed mother delving into such matters as close reading of fifteen poems, especially blind readings.

I.A. Richards was teaching literature at Cambridge in the '20s when he asked his students to all make "protocols"--their understandings--of fifteen anonymous poems. He was a powerhouse behind the movement
Basila Hasnain
May 07, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sumera Khalil
Recommended to Basila by: Dr. Waseem Anwar
It is the
of the
them that
not the
correctness with which we
them. For it is
quite possible
to like the
and dislike
ones for reasons which are excellent.

It is an idea, and ideas are always interesting but its put forth in a very cumbersome way or may be I am an over ambitious person when it comes to reading , read in two hours.

Summary is the Summary one can keep as a text within a list of teaching learning material. rather a must. Interesting read. M
Aug 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am amused by Richards's students! They are funny, even when misguided. I wish that modern students were as entertaining.

This book is remarkably intuitive, and is correct, I think, in many things with regard to poetry. Richards seems to be a superb reader. I am not sure, however, with regard to his stance on intentionality -- tone is perhaps not the same. Still, there's a lot to digest, especially with respect to emotionality in reading poetry
Jul 10, 2014 rated it liked it
I liked the bulk of this very much, the collection of examples of practical criticism, the actual reactions that students in the 1920s had to a selection of poetry Richards presented them with. It made me want to recreate the experiment in the present day and see what happens. His theory -- parts of it interesting, parts merely abstruse, and parts passed already by time. All in all, very worth reading, but not fantastic.
Mar 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-rhetoric

Who could think analyzing student papers could be so useful?
Ash Giri
Oct 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommended.
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Ivor Armstrong Richards was an influential English literary critic and rhetorician.

He was educated at Clifton College where his love of English was nurtured by the scholar 'Cabby' Spence. His books, especially The Meaning of Meaning, Principles of Literary Criticism, Practical Criticism, and The Philosophy of Rhetoric, proved to be founding influences for the New Criticism. The concept of 'practic
More about Ivor A. Richards

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