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New Historicism

What is New Historicism and how is it used today?

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New Historicism can best be described as an analysis of history in its newest form. It was almost smothered by the popularity of Jaques Lacan's postconstructuralism, was revived in the 1980's by Fredric Jameson's The Political Unconscious, and continues to live on through Stephen Greenblatt's quotes. Influenced by almost every known form of criticism, the origins of new historicism remain "fuzzy" and its definition continues to harbor many gray areas.

So to understand the definition of new historicism, one must clearly understand the old version of the criticism. Critics who used the old form believed that literary works contain hard facts and that, although a form of writing can be imitated, the historical contexts and hidden meaning behind the words of that text are evanescent and authentic to that particular era.

Michel Foucalt later refutes this theory ...

Solution Summary

This excerpt simplifies the theory of new historicism and compares it to events of present day so that readers will have an easier time understanding the concept.