Close reading describes, in literary criticism, the careful, sustained interpretation of a brief passage of text. Such a reading places great emphasis on the particular over the general, paying close attention to individual words, syntax, and the order in which sentences and ideas unfold as they are read.
The technique as practiced today was pioneered (at least in English) by I.A. Richards and his student William Empson, later developed further by the New Critics of the mid-twentieth century. It is now a fundamental method of modern criticism. Close reading is sometimes called explication de texte, which is the name for the similar tradition of textual interpretation in French literary study, a technique whose chief proponent was Gustave Lanson.
... A truly attentive close reading of a two-hundred-word poem might be thousands of words long without exhausting the possibilities for observation and insight ... explosion" of the technique of close reading, devotes more than eighty pages to an interpretation of the word "yes" in James Joyce's modernist novel Ulysses ...
... The bulk of the book is devoted to close reading of poems by John Donne, Shakespeare, Milton, Alexander Pope, William Wordsworth, Keats, Lord Tennyson, Yeats, Thomas Gray, and T ... of the first chapter is devoted to the close reading of Donne's "The Canonization." Brooks in his interpretation challenges the conception of Donne as being an early example of the use of ...
... New Critics often performed a "close reading" of the text and believed the structure and meaning of the text were intimately connected and should not be analyzed separately ... Also, at that time, this kind of close reading (or explication de texte) was considered the work of non-academic "critics" (or book reviewers) and not the work of serious scholars ... model in American universities, some of its methods (like close reading) are still fundamental tools of literary criticism, underpinning a number of subsequent theoretic approaches to literature including ...
... This minor slump in form continued against Reading the following weekend, United requiring a 73rd-minute equaliser from Cristiano Ronaldo to salvage a point ... second defeat of the season, and allowed Chelsea to close the gap at the top to two points ... two more braces in his next two league games against Wigan and Reading ...
Famous quotes containing the words reading and/or close:
“My first reading of Tolstoy affected me as a revelation from heaven, as the trumpet of the judgment. What he made me feel was not the desire to imitate, but the conviction that imitation was futile.”
—Ellen Glasgow (18731945)
“At daybreak, on the bleak sea-beach,
A fisherman stood aghast,
To see the form of a maiden fair,
Lashed close to a drifting mast.”
—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (18091882)