Empson's Mud and Blood

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


Beginning with a close reading of William Empson's poem "The Teasers", this essay explores the poet's attitude to the First World War and then sketches a new account of the origins of "Seven Types of Ambiguity" (1930), his famous first book of literary criticism. It does this by tracing the lineage, hitherto unnoticed, from Empson's work on linguistic ambiguity and the poetry of psychological conflict back to the Cambridge anthropologist and psychiatrist W.H. Rivers.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Specialist publicationPN Review
Publication statusPublished - May 2017

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