Sir William Empson (Chinese: 燕卜荪, 27 September 1906 – 15 April 1984) was an English literary critic and poet, widely influential for his practice of closely reading literary works, fundamental to New Criticism. His best-known work is his first, Seven Types of Ambiguity, published in 1930.
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“What could not possible be there,
And learn a style from a despair.”
—William Empson (19061984)