Jeremy's Reviews > Literary Theory: An Introduction

Literary Theory by Terry Eagleton
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Sep 06, 12

bookshelves: criticism, non-fiction, baylor, philosophy
Read from August 21 to September 06, 2012

I wrote more smiley faces in the margins than I expected to.

It wasn’t until Ch. 2 that I finally realized exactly how Eagleton’s Marxism plays into his allergic reaction to literature as an objective category. He hates the idea of the academy telling the rest of the world what constitutes literature. It’s just another example of the powerful controlling the powerless, and he can’t stand it.

Poststructuralism (Ch. 4) is a historical term, because it’s describing a theory that came after structuralism. Poststructuralism could also be called A-structuralism, because it’s against the very idea of structure. I have a hard time taking poststructuralists seriously, because to me they seem like someone sitting on a tree limb, sawing away. In their disdain for the previous elite (WASPs, DWEMs, etc.), they have merely replaced the old elite with themselves. They see reality more clearly (although, reality doesn’t really exist). They claim not to value values (or say that the value is only relative), and yet they clearly value poststructuralism over structuralism. They claim that there is no meaning, and yet they travel the world giving lectures on what poststructuralism means.

Lots of information in the Afterward about postmodernity/postmodernism and metanarrative.
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Reading Progress

08/21/2012 page 1
08/21/2012 page 7
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message 1: by Phil (new)

Phil And when neo-Marxists control the academy, it's even worse!

message 2: by Mark (new) - added it

Mark Ward I read his essay on Stanley Fish—extremely well written. I bought this book for that reason. Hoping to get through it soon.

message 3: by Mark (new) - added it

Mark Ward Wait, I got confused... That essay is in another book (Postmodern Sophistry). This book doesn't dig as deep into Fish.

Jeremy Fish was one of the consultees for my other theory textbook. His "Interpreting the Varorium" is included.

message 5: by Mark (new) - added it

Mark Ward A tough slog for me. The introduction to "Is There a Text in this Class?" and the introductions to the individual essays were far more helpful to me than the actual essays!

message 6: by Phil (new)

Phil Derrida was really hard for me; Foucault was easy (but weird).

Jeremy I just read about the Sokal hoax and got a kick out of how annoyed Derrida was by it all.

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