Modernist Criticism

Baldick, Chris. 2014. Modernist Criticism. In: David. E. Chinitz and Gail McDonald, eds. A Companion to Modernist Poetry. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 185-196. ISBN 9780470659816 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

This chapter is devoted to the prose writings of the leading modernist critics. First, it characterizes the larger purposes and projects of modernist poetry criticism. Next, the chapter examines its principles, practice, and consequences in the contexts of other ways of addressing poetry – especially the academic discourses with which modernist criticism maintains an ambiguous rivalry. Much modernist criticism of poetry takes the form of metacriticism, that is to say, criticism of criticism. The chapter highlights the significant role played by Pound and Eliot in modernist criticism. Eliot's impersonal theory of poetry is a theory of the poet's transmutation of his or her materials into something new and surprising. Eliot's and Pound's views found sympathizers in the universities, at a time when the still‐uncertain direction of literary studies allowed an opening for the new challenges of criticism, as distinct from philology or literary history.

Item Type:

Book Section

Identification Number (DOI):


Modernist criticism, Metacriticism, Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

English and Comparative Literature


28 March 2014Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

06 Dec 2018 09:11

Last Modified:

03 Jun 2020 11:36


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