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I. A. Richards

Richards, I. A. (Ivor Armstrong Richards), 1893–1979, English literary critic. Richards was one of the founders of the school of interpretation known as the New Criticism, which stressed an awareness of textual and psychological nuance and ambiguity when studying literature. He advocated this viewpoint in influential studies including The Meaning of Meaning (with C. K. Ogden, 1923), Principles of Literary Criticism (1924), and Practical Criticism (1929) (see criticism). Richards's own poetry included Internal Colloquies: Poems and Plays (1973) and Beyond (1974) Richards was well-known for his creation, with Charles Kay Ogden, of a simplified language called Basic English, which consists of a primary vocabulary of 850 words. He championed its adoption in books such as Basic English and Its Uses (1943) and So Much Nearer: Essays Toward a World English (1968), and in his teaching at Cambridge and Harvard; he even translated Plato's Republic into Basic English.

See biography by J. P. I. Russo (1989).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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See more Encyclopedia articles on: English Literature, 20th cent. to the Present: Biographies

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