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The Gatekeeper: A Memoir

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  89 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Often scathingly funny, frequently tender, and always completely engaging, The Gatekeeper is Terry Eagleton's memoirs, his deep-etched portraits of those who influenced him, either by example or by contrast: his father, headmasters, priests, and Cambridge dons. He was a shy, bookish, asthmatic boy keenly aware of social inferiority yet determined to make his intellectual w ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published June 2nd 2003 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published January 1st 2001)
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Maughn Gregory
This is a thoroughly entertaining and thought-provoking memoir by a self-described "leftist theologian" (7), whose "full-time occupation," is "peddling ideas to the masses," (71)and "an activist by conviction rather than by temperament, [who]would most certainly have preferred reading Proust to picketing." (91)

Of the Carmelite Nuns he worked for as a boy: "They clung to the quaintly outmoded view that there was too much cruelty and aggression in the world for it to be merely accidental, or solva
...more
James
I'm not sure how many Catholics become self-proclaimed radicals, but Terry Eagleton claims that he is one of them. He attempts to write about his personal history 'in such a way as to outwit the prurience and immodesty of the genre by frustrating your own desire for self-display and the reader's desire to enter your inner life'. Most of The Gatekeeper, though, comes dangerously close to non-autobiography. It's a refusal of the genre more than a transformation of it. Eagleton organizes the book a ...more
Josh Wade
My first Terry Eagleton book on my swing back to the Leftism of my early twenties, (slightly now more informed) I am simply giving this 5 stars because of the number of times I actually laughed out loud. His self deprecating humor in the Politicos section is regards to Dialectical Materialism makes this worth the quick read. As a bonus the section on the bygone generation of Oxbridge Dons is pretty funny too.
Aran
In which Terry Eagleton picks and chooses; claims to loathe Oxbridge and the upper-classes while striving desperately to appear a raffish wit of precisely the Oxbridge type. Spiked with funny moments and the odd potent insight into culture's embedded elitisms, but Eagleton's own eagerness to embed himself within the elite he decries cannot so easily be brushed off by comparing himself, with cod-modesty, to Oscar Wilde and Wittgenstein.
Sarah
Hilarious. I guess it's a testament to his intellect that Terry Eagleton manages to seem like he's just running his thoughts off his tongue, never trying too hard, or waxing too eloquent. Makes quite a few jabs at pop culture (as always), but this is an amusing memoir if not an illuminating one.

Let's just say it makes you feel smarter after you read it.
Ed
Memoir of a Catholic of Irish descent in Protestant England, a working-class boy whose professional life was spent at the heart of a ruling-class institution, a Marxist revolutionary who was not only tolerated, but rewarded by the liberal establishment.
Jamie Banks
Enjoyable! Eagleton writes autobiography without revealing much about his personal life, as he writes about others doing. The result is irreverent and often hilarious, while also provoking thought about the individual's experience of formal education.
Andrew
A little bit tossed-off, reading rather like Eagleton recorded it in a few sittings and had it transcribed. But very entertaining, and occasionally quite moving, often very funny.
Jared
An engaging combination of humor and seriousness; Irish satirists will be well-pleased.
Alex
The Gatekeeper : A Memoir by Terry Eagleton (2002)
Lauren
I loved this. very smart and interesting.
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Widely regarded as Britain's most influential living literary critic & theorist, Dr Eagleton currently serves as Distinguished Prof. of English Literature at the Univ. of Lancaster & as Visiting Prof. at the Nat'l Univ. of Ireland, Galway. He was Thomas Warton Prof. of English Literature at the Univ. of Oxford ('92-01) & John Edward Taylor Prof. of English Literature at the Univ. of Ma ...more
More about Terry Eagleton...
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