William Empson entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
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William Empson's Times obituary called him "one of the most distinguished and widely influential English poets, critic[s] and university teachers of this century." Bibliographic Citation link. Though his output was relatively small (and a good deal of his prose writing uncollected during his lifetime), his difficult poetry (fifty-six poems in print at the time of his death) and revolutionary criticism made an instant impact which continues to reverberate. Bibliographic Citation link.
27 September 1906 WE, poet and critic, was born at Yokefleet Hall, Howden, near Goole in Yorkshire, the youngest in a family of five children. Bibliographic Citation link.
November 1930 WE published Seven Types of Ambiguity, which came to be regarded as the first literary critical "monument" of the New Critical school. Bibliographic Citation link.
15 April 1984 Sir WE (knighted in 1979), poet and critic, died at his home in London of cirrhosis of the liver. Bibliographic Citation link.
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