Literary Criticism, from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia, Credo Reference
Assessment and interpretation of literary works. The term "criticism" is often taken to mean exclusively adverse comment, but in fact it refers to all literary assessment, whether positive or negative. Contemporary criticism offers analyses of literary works from structuralist, semiological, feminist, Marxist, and psychoanalytical perspectives, whereas earlier criticism tended to deal with moral or political ideas, or with a literary work as a formal object independent of its creator.
"Literary Criticism." The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide. Abington: Helicon, 2013. Credo Reference.