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in literary criticism, the theory that poetry's internal structure should be analyzed and described as opposed to its emotional effect on the reader; also, the misconception that a poem's emotional effect on the reader determines its value
according to the followers of New Criticism, the misconception that arises from judging a poem by the emotional effect that it produces in the reader. The concept of affective fallacy is a direct attack on impressionistic criticism, which argues that the reader's response to a poem is the ultimate indication of its value