William Empson

English literary critic and poet / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Sir William Empson (27 September 1906 – 15 April 1984) was an English literary critic and poet, widely influential for his practice of closely reading literary works, a practice fundamental to New Criticism. His best-known work is his first, Seven Types of Ambiguity, published in 1930.

Quick facts: William Empson, Born, Died, Occupation(s), No...
William Empson
Formal portrait of William Empson, clean-shaven, wearing eyeglasses and dressed in a coat and tie
Born(1906-09-27)27 September 1906
Yokefleet Hall, Yorkshire, England
Died15 April 1984(1984-04-15) (aged 77)
London, England
Occupation(s)Literary critic and poet
Notable workSeven Types of Ambiguity (1930)
StyleNew Criticism
SpouseHetta Empson

Jonathan Bate has written[1] that the three greatest English literary critics of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries are Johnson, Hazlitt and Empson, "not least because they are the funniest".