formalism. In the most general sense, the cultivation of artistic technique at the expense of subject-matter, either in literary practice or in criticism. The term has been applied, often in a derogatory sense, to several kinds of approach to literature in which form is emphasized in isolation from a work's meanings or is taken as the chief criterion of aesthetic value. In modern critical discussion, however, the term frequently refers more specifically to the principles of certain Russian and Czech theorists: for this sense, see Russian Formalism. [Baldick, 1990]