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An Introduction to Literary Criticism

Literary criticism, as defined in the Oxford Dictionary of English, is "the art or practice of judging and commenting on the qualities and character of literary works." 

"Criticism" doesn't necessarily mean to criticize or find what is wrong with a work.  Literary criticism helps to explain or interpret a novel, a poem, a play, a story -- any work of literature.


 A little confused about literary criticism/critical theory?  Take a look at some of these titles to get an introduction and better understanding of the topic.  They are located on the third floor of the library in the Main Collection. 

Literary criticism can be found in a number of different sources. This guide lists sources that will help you identify specific articles and books on an author or on a specific literary work.

"Jackson's world view does not extend into the realm of metaphysics: it is not possible to deduce from her work any coherent conception of the nature of the universe.  She is wholly and avowedly concerned with human relationships, and it is from their complexities that both horror and the supernatural emerge in her work." 

Joshi, S.T. "Shirley Jackson: Domestic Horror." Shirley Jackson: Essays on the Literary Legacy. Ed. Bernice M. Murphy.  Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2005. 183-98. Print.

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