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By Terry Eagleton

Terry Eagleton is without doubt one of the such a lot important—and such a lot radical—theorists writing at the present time. His witty and acerbic assaults on modern tradition and society are learn and loved via many, and his reviews of literature are considered as classics of latest criticism.

Ranging around the key works of Raymond Williams, Lenin, Trostsky, Brecht, Adorno, Benjamin, Lukacs and Sartre, he develops a nuanced critique of conventional literary feedback whereas generating a compelling theoretical account of ideology.

Eagleton makes use of this attitude to supply interesting analyses of canonical writers, together with George Eliot, Charles Dickens, Joseph Conrad, Henry James, T.S. Eliot, W.B. Yeats, James Joyce and D.H. Lawrence.

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Example text

V) Relations of G I and LM P G I typically contains certain general elements or structures, all or some of which may at a particular historical stage bear significantly on the character of the L M P . These general structures can be distin­ guished in the main as the linguistic, the political, and the ‘ cultural’ . A set of complex interdeterminations will normally hold between them, which demand historical specification. A literary text is related to G I not only by how it deploys language but by the particular language it deploys.

Criticism as the repressive father who cuts short the erotic sport of sense between text and reader, binding with the briars of its metasystem the joyfully pluralist intercourse of meanings between them. A libertarianism of text and reader, in short, typical of the Tel Quel group, which like all26 26. ibid. M u ta tio n s o f C ritic a l Id e o lo g y 43 libertarianism fatally inverts itself into a mirror-image of bourgeois social relations. But there are other forms of eradication, which are not fixated in the moment of release which follows on the dethrone­ ment of the ultimate donor of meaning - which accept that if God is truly dead there is no need to resurrect Nietzsche, since their reference-point is the ‘ taken-for-granted’ post-atheism of M arx rather than the ‘ always-to-be-validated ’ atheism of his compatriot.

Coexistent LM Ps may be mutually ‘ disjunct’ because each stands in distinct and particular relation to a specific social class. Thus, a dominant courtly class may operate an L M P constituted by the ‘ amateur’ production of texts for ‘ inform al’, ‘ coterie’ distribution and consumption; an L M P based upon the professional producer and the capitalist mode of production, distri­ bution, exchange and consumption (into which such ‘ amateur’ texts may enter) may simultaneously exist to supply literary commodities to a wider, aristocratic and bourgeois readership, while a complex combination of ‘ oral’ L M P s may persist within the most sub­ ordinate social classes.

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Criticism and Ideology: A Study in Marxist Literary Theory by Terry Eagleton

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