paradox, statement that appears self-contradictory but actually has a basis in truth, e.g., Oscar Wilde's Ignorance is like a delicate fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone. Many New Critics maintained that paradox is not just a rhetorical or illustrative device but a basic aspect of all poetic language.

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

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Literature: General