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How to Find Literary Criticism   Tags: literature  

Last Updated: Jul 7, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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What is 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.


Literary Criticism Example

"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.


Cover Art
Shirley Jackson: Essays on the Literary Legacy
Call Number: PS 3519 .A392 Z853


Getting Started

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.

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