» » Literary theory: An introduction

Download Literary theory: An introduction fb2

by Terry Eagleton
Download Literary theory: An introduction fb2
Encyclopedias & Subject Guides
  • Author:
    Terry Eagleton
  • ISBN:
    0816612382
  • ISBN13:
    978-0816612383
  • Genre:
  • Publisher:
    University of Minnesota Press; First Edition edition (1983)
  • Pages:
    244 pages
  • Subcategory:
    Encyclopedias & Subject Guides
  • Language:
  • FB2 format
    1561 kb
  • ePUB format
    1819 kb
  • DJVU format
    1435 kb
  • Rating:
    4.3
  • Votes:
    283
  • Formats:
    lrf txt mbr azw


Literary theory : an introduction /Terry Eagleton. This book is an attempt to make modern literary theory intelligible and attractive to as wide a readership as possible

Literary theory : an introduction /Terry Eagleton. This book is an attempt to make modern literary theory intelligible and attractive to as wide a readership as possible. Since it first appeared in 1983, I am gratified to report that it has been studied by lawyers as well as literary critics, anthropologists as well as cultural theorists. In one sense, perhaps, this isn't all that surprising.

Literary Theory book. From Terry Eagleton’s Literary Theory for Toddlers: An Introduction. Phenomenology: Tigger tells Pooh that he must distinguish between the phenomena and noumena of a pot of honey. That his intentionality towards the honey is narrowing his awareness of his surroundings, pushing him into a false structure of consciousness where the honey is both a perpetual fantasy and an instrument of real-life fixation.

Terence Francis Eagleton FBA (born 1943) is a British literary theorist, critic, and public intellectual. He is currently Distinguished Professor of English Literature at Lancaster University. Eagleton has published over forty books, but remains best known for Literary Theory: An Introduction (1983), which has sold over 750,000 copies. The work elucidated the emerging literary theory of the period, as well as arguing that all literary theory is necessarily political.

Literary Theory: an Introduction Hardcover – September 1, 1983. by. Terry Eagleton (Author). Nothing insidious about that. It just means that, during a time that the professor himself termed a post-Christian era, he was a proponent of the view that literature was the last refuge of truth, beauty, and the pastoral values that provide sustenance to the soul rather than carefully counted coins to the purse.

Literary Theory has the kind of racy readability that one associates more often with English critics who have set their faces . Terry Eagleton is John Edward Taylor professor of English literature at the University of Manchester

Literary Theory has the kind of racy readability that one associates more often with English critics who have set their faces resolutely against theory. It’s not just a brilliant polemical essay; it’s also a remarkable feat of condensation, explication, and synthesis. Sunday Times (London). A concise guide to the most interesting and mystifying trends in the study of literature over the last fifty years. Terry Eagleton is John Edward Taylor professor of English literature at the University of Manchester. His numerous books include The Meaning of Life, How to Read a Poem, and After Theory. Скачать (pdf, . 9 Mb) Читать. Epub FB2 mobi txt RTF.

Terry Eagleton's Literary Theory: An Introduction is a critical overview of the history of literary theory starting just before the emergence of the Romantic movement in eighteenth-century England and ending with th. .

Terry Eagleton's Literary Theory: An Introduction is a critical overview of the history of literary theory starting just before the emergence of the Romantic movement in eighteenth-century England and ending with the post-Structuralists in 1970s and 1980s. Through this historical approach, Eagleton explores the questions "What is literature?" and "What is literary theory?" After undermining the answers various schools of thought give to this answer, he concludes that literature is simply a social construct and literary theory, therefore, is an artificial discipline

It’s not just a brilliant polemical essay; it’s also a remarkable feat of condensation, explication, and synthesis. On the twenty-fifth anniversary of Literary Theory’s debut, Terry Eagleton reflects on the state of theory in academia today, the growth of antitheory (itself an interesting theoretical subject), its common-if problematic-place among survey coursework, and theory’s continued relevance to scholarly pursuits.

Literary Theory: An Introduction, Terry Eagleton - english literature. AN INTRODUCTION TO THE . NAVY 26th United Nations General Professional Knowl. 49 MB·3,018 Downloads. Theory was a way of emancipating literary works from the stranglehold of a 'civilized 978081661. Peter Barry, Beginning Theory: A Introduction to Literary. 5 Pages·2012·127 KB·6,228 Downloads. Number Theory: An Introduction to Mathematics. 04 MB·25,927 Downloads.

This book is an attempt to make modern literary theory intelligible and attractive to as wide a readership as possible

This book is an attempt to make modern literary theory intelligible and attractive to as wide a readership as possible. As the book itself tries to demonstrate, there is in fact no 'literary theory', in the sense of a body of theory which springs from, or is applicable to, literature alone.


Rexfire
Decades ago, I was a disengaged and rebellious student at an average high school in a small town in Pennsylvania. When, under parental pressure, I enrolled in the local state college, I took two semesters of English Composition with a professor who had taken a Ph.D at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

When the professor discussed literary works such as Hemingway's A Clean Well Lighted Place, Oneill's The Hairy Ape, or Shakespeare's Othello, I was mystified. I understood what he said, but I had no idea where it came from. A friend, whose low-level of educational attainment matched mine, called it "reading between the lines."

However one characterized the source of the professor's insights, I couldn't see how he did it, nor could I understand the imagery in the poems we read, or see the humor in Andrew Marvell's reference to "vegetable love" in To His Coy Mistress. I was in trouble.

If the first edition of Terry Eagleton's book Literary Theory had been published twenty years earlier, I might have read and understood it (a real long shot!) and learned that the professor was a Leavasite. Nothing insidious about that. It just means that, during a time that the professor himself termed a post-Christian era, he was a proponent of the view that literature was the last refuge of truth, beauty, and the pastoral values that provide sustenance to the soul rather than carefully counted coins to the purse.

Beyond that, followers of F.R. Leavis were committed to close reading of the text itself without reference to contextual factors or the biography of the author. Literary works of real quality and lasting value were seen as organic wholes, standing alone, meant to be read in ways that demonstrated their internal coherence and completeness. Literature at its best aimed at a visceral emotional response that made it moving and memorable.

However, when structuralism was introduced as a new kind of literary theory, the close reading of Leavis and like-minded students of English literature, was found by some to be wanting. Structuralists were committed to a search for deeply embedded formal organizing principles that could be used to explain why any work of literature took a specific form.

Structuralists, notably Claude Levi-Strauss and Roland Barthes, took the view that the form of what we wrote, the shape of what we built, how we organized our social lives were controlled by deep structures intrinsic to our central nervous system and thus inescapable. Structures could be reckoned in terms of binary opposites such as hot/cold, raw/cooked, light/dark and so on. These may seem unduly simple terms with which to understand the formal properties of any social creation, but sophisticated analyses have been done of objects of all kinds, from Shakespeare's history plays to pulp fiction to kinship systems.

Following the great French linguist Ferdinand de Saussure, structuralists viewed the connection between a thing and its name as completely arbitrary, a product of historical habit and cultural convention. Thus a dog was called a dog because we had gotten accustomed to it not being called something else, say dressing gown or sandwich. There was no inherent parallel between the signifier dog and the thing to which it referred, the signified.

Structuralism's prominence was short-lived, perhaps because of it's sterile formalism. Once you've completed a structural analysis, where does that leave us? What's next? All you've really done is again verified that an analysis in terms of binary opposites can be accomplished, but have you learned anything of value? An open question about another de-contextualized and tightly closed system.

Furthermore, a subsequent development, post-structuralism, cast doubt on the solidity and permanence of the binary oppositions and organized wholes that structuralilsts found so novel and intriguing. Post-structuralists such as Jacques Derrida concluded that the signifiers used to constitute binary opposites were not only arbitrary but bore an unstable relationship to their signifieds. A signifier like "cold," for example, could refer to the ambient temperature in an air conditioned office, the impersonal tone of a bureacrat's communication, a viral infection common during the winter, an evaluation of a response in the game charades, the distinctive and unforgettable feel of a dead animal when you touch it to determine its condition, and so on. Depending on the linguistic context made up of modifiers, associated nouns, and its history of usage, any signifier has perhaps an infinite variety of signifieds.

In the absence of fixed definitions, the relationships between signifiers and signifieds become mutable and uncertain. Even the simplest signifiers are never pure, but bound up with ways that we and others have used them and will use them, rendering the meaning of all signifiers problematic. Not exactly a death knell for structuralism, but it rests on much shakier ground.

And the same is true for the close reading in search of emotionally charged organic wholes championed by Leavisites. The post-structuralist positon regarding the slippery instability of signifiers implies that we can never write exactly what we mean, and that we never mean exactly what we write. Under these unsteady conditions, just what is a close reading and how stable is an organic whole?

The Leavasites, structuralists, and post-structuralists represent just three of the literary theories ably discussed by Terry Eagleton in Literary Theory. The others -- semiotics, phenomenology, hermeneutics, reception theory, and psychoanalysis -- are all interpretably rendered by the author, and each is interesting, especially psychoanalysis. None of this, however, is light reading, but Eagleton introduces truly novel and unfamiliar ideas in an understandable way. It helps, however, if you don't take the names of authors too seriously as things to be learned. Eagleton invokes a lot of names, and many are only peripheral to his discussion and would best have been deleted. Perhaps he wants to display his erudition.

Literary theories fall in and out of favor. I remember when the New York Times Book Review treated publication of an English translation of Levi-Strauss' structuralist volume The Raw and the Cooked as a sensational development that would change the way we understood the world. It didn't, but like other literary and cultural theories it left a residue. Structuralism is still taught in college and university courses that hope to develop the history of their discipline and show how literary theory has broadened into cultural studies, activities that treat everything, in some significant sense, as text to be interpreted and understood using tools once artificially reserved for literature.

Eagleton's understanding of all this is inextricably bound to his commitment to the idea that literary theory, and more to the point, cultural studies, should not be construed as fundamentally useless ends in themselves. If they remain independent of their social context including power relations, class structure, and vast differences in life chances that occasioned their production, they are difficult to defend.

Eagleton is a long-time socialist, so his understanding of the proper role of cultural studies is to contribute to the creation of a world in which asymmetrical relations of domination and exploitation are overcome. He envisions what some would regard as an earthly utopia, where class, race, gender, and other invidious distinctions are erased, and everyone really is able to develop his full potential as a multi-talented human being, avoiding the disfiguring and destructive social roles intrinsic to global capitalism. Eagelton is quite serious when he argues that this is the only rationale for the continued existence of cultural studies.

Even for one with sharply different political views, however, Eagleton's fundamental thesis has merit. If cultural studies restrict themselves to the construction of closed systems, immune to and uninterested in contextual factors, what is their value? This question could be raised with good reason by a conservative as well as a socialist. After all, in contrast to Eagleton, many literary theorists are conservatives. It's the sterility of their enterprise that is objectionable, yet another reason why conservatives tend to be dismissive of academics.

So could Eagleton's book have helped me when I was a clueless college freshman doing poorly in English composition? Not a chance. I wouldn't have understood as word of it. Now that I've been around for quite awhile, however, it strikes me as the best available introduction to literary theory.
Vojar
I bought this because it was required for a literary criticism class I'm taking and I really had to drag myself through it. For most of the book, the vocabulary is overwhelming and the prose is ponderous. I wish I'd gotten it on my kindle, which would have made looking up definitions much easier. The saving graces are Eagleton's smart-ass wit cropping up just as I was slipping into a trance of boredom, and the last chapter. That last chapter redeemed the whole book for me. Sadly, this is the best of a bad bunch of books on literary theory and criticism. Just think, it could be worse!
Berkohi
This book is an invaluable resource for the comprehension of most of the major literary- and other ideological movements- of the twentieth century From T. S. Eliot to Derrida. What impressed me the most is that he makes general, and often very opaque, theories of The Structuralists, Lacan, and Derrida clear . That, in itself, was worth the read. Also,

putting literary theory in a historical, political, and philosohical context is intriguing. However, the last chapter on the Politcal (see Neo-Marxist) is interesting but a little too polemic and doesn't quite tie things together as neatly

as possible, That's OK though. Rather that than a Jane Austen

or standard "lit crit" snoozer.

If you like this book, then After Theory should be next on your

list. Wish, however, he had included Foucault and Baudrillard,

but if you want to know "Theory," Eagleton and Literary Theory is an ideal place to start.
Agantrius
Eagleton does a good job, but the book is advanced for my students and difficult for them to follow. This is a great book for a graduate course, not undergrad'.
Silvermaster
I was assigned this text for my intro to literary studies graduate course, and I gotta say that I was not impressed with it. Eagleton's writing is dense and unfocused and it offered me no more than a vague understanding of the different schools of literary theory.
Akelevar
Literary theory is very difficult to digest but Eagleton does a very good job of simplifying most of the theories so that they are easier to wrap your head around. Perhaps not easier to understand the full concept of each theory but definitely a good starting point.
Mavegar
Very good basic introduction to literary theory and its history. Interesting and humorously written. Some parts were repeated too often.
This is a classic