Literary Approach - Psychological Criticism

The Norton Introduction to Poetry
Editor: J. Paul Hunter, University of Chicago
(Norton & Company, 1999)


The Norton Introduction to Poetry: Psychological Criticism


University of Chicago professor emeritus J. Paul Hunter defines critical approaches to evaluating poetry and prose in this excellent text published by Norton & Company. The book is now in its ninth edition with contributing editors Alison Booth, University of Virginia, and Kelly J. Mays, University of Nevada.


“The assumption is that literature is the expression of the author's psyche, often his or her unconscious, and, like dreams, needs to be interpreted.”


Monetary goals override sincere literary expression, especially in commercial fiction. Book publishers and magazine editors slant material toward predetermined readers, rendering interpretation worthless. Unless an author has maintained creative control and not intentionally written for a specific market, any work is a product guided by economic motivation.