( ĕk-splē-kä-syÔN də tĕkst′ )
ex•pli•ca•tion de texte
n. [pl. explications de texte]
[Fr. explication explanation + de of + texte text].
A method employed to provide detailed analytical literary criticism in which a reading of a particular text is provided and expounds on its linguistic, compositional and expressive parts and aspects are reviewed by a synthesizing exposition with relation to each other and the whole work.
This method provides a detailed analyses of the use of figurative language, image patterns, rhythm, ambiguities and structure - as well as their relationship to the whole.
Practiced by Aristotle and used in England as a method of teaching Latin, it was developed extensively in French education. Explication de texte requires rigorous application of close verbal and structural analysis as a work of art, forcing the reader to ponder the rhetorical and logical patterns comprising the literary work.
The technique was introduced into modern literary criticism by American Cleanth Brooks, and I.A. Richards of England and William Empson during the 1920's, all which were adherents of the New Criticism.