Chicago Critics

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A group of critics associated with the University of Chicago, who contributed to the volume Critics and Criticisms: Ancient and Modern (1952) edited by the most prominent figure, R. S. Crane. Other members included W. R. Keast, Elder Olson, and Bernard Weinberg; Wayne C. Booth, the author of The Rhetoric of Fiction (1961), was also associated with the group. The Chicago critics were concerned with accounting for the variety of critical approaches to literature in terms of assumptions about the nature of literary works. They also emphasized the larger structures of literary works, following the example of Aristotle, whom they admired for basing his Poetics (4th century bce) on actual examples rather than on preconceptions. Their interest in plot and in the design of a work as a whole distinguishes them from the New Critics, who concentrated on the study of metaphor and symbol in lyric verse. See also aristotelian.

Subjects: Literature.

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