‘His thought is redneck, yours is doctrinal and mine is deliciously supple.’ Ideology has never been so much in evidence as a fact and so little understood as a concept as it is today. From the left it can often be seen as the exclusive property of ruling classes, and from the right as an arid and totalizing exception to their own common sense. For some, the concept now seems too ubiquitous to be meaningful; for others, too cohesive for a world of infinite difference. Here, in a book written for both newcomers to the topic and those already familiar with the debate, Terry Eagleton unravels the many different definitions of ideology, and explores the concept’s tortuous history from the Enlightenment to postmodernism. Ideology provides lucid interpretations of the thought of key Marxist thinkers and of others such as Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Freud and the various poststructuralists. As well as clarifying a notoriously confused topic, this new work by one of our most important contemporary critics is a controversial political intervention into current theoretical debates. It will be essential reading for students and teachers of literature and politics.
In this combative, controversial book, Terry Eagleton takes issue with the prejudice that Marxism is dead and done with. Taking ten of the most common objections to Marxism;that it leads to political tyranny, that it reduces everything to the economic, that it is a form of historical determinism, and so on he demonstrates in each case what a woeful travesty of Marx's own thought these assumptions are. In a world in which capitalism has been shaken to its roots by some major crises, Why Marx Was Right is as urgent and timely as it is brave and candid. Written with Eagleton's familiar wit, humor, and clarity, it will attract an audience far beyond the confines of academia.
The golden age of cultural theory (the product of a decade and a half, from 1965 to 1980) is long past. We are living now in its aftermath, in an age which, having grown rich in the insights of thinkers like Althusser, Barthes and Derrida, has also moved beyond them. What kind of new, fresh thinking does this new era demand? Eagleton concludes that cultural theory must start thinking ambitiously again - not so that it can hand the West its legitimation, but so that it can seek to make sense of the grand narratives in which it is now embroiled.
Is Marx relevant any more? Why should we care what he wrote? What difference could it make to our reading of literature? Terry Eagleton, one of the foremost critics of our generation, has some answers in this wonderfully clear and readable analysis. Sharp and concise, it is, without doubt, the most important work on literary criticism that has emerged out of the tradition of Marxist philosophy and social theory since the nineteenth century.
This collection of readings on the concept of ideology is brought together by the Marxist critic, Terry Eagleton. His introduction traces the historical evolution of ideology and examines in a more theoretical style the various meanings of the word and their significance. The readings begin with the first English translations of some of the writing of the French founder of the concept in the eighteenth century. They then move from the enlightenment to Hegel and Marxism, with particular emphasis on Marx and Engels themselves. They also look at other eighteenth-century traditions of thought such as Nietzche and Freud. All the readings are theoretical rather than examples of `ideology at work' and will be of interest to undergraduate students of cultural, political and historical studies concerned with ideology, as well as students of English literature.
Terry Eagleton is one of the most influential contemporary literary theorists and critics. His diverse body of work has been crucial to developments in cultural theory and literary critical practice in modern times, and for a generation of humanities students his writing has been a source of both provocation and enjoyment. This book undertakes a lucid and detailed analysis of Eagleton's oeuvre. It gives close attention to the full range of Eagleton's major publications, examining their arguments and implications, as well as how they have intervened in wider debates in cultural theory. It also investigates his less familiar works, such as his early writing on the Catholic left, as well as other as yet unpublished material, showing how these works can be understood alongside the more prominent areas of his thought. Through this, this book offers a cohesive overview of Eagleton's career to date, tracing the development of his theoretical positions, and an assessment of Eagleton's wider contributions to fields such as Marxist literary criticism and cultural theory. It will be essential reading for students of literary criticism, cultural theory, and intellectual history.
In this brilliant critique, Terry Eagleton explores the origins and emergence of postmodernism, revealing its ambivalences and contradictions. Above all he speaks to a particular kind of student, or consumer, of popular "brands" of postmodern thought.