Read e-book online Criticism and Ideology: A Study in Marxist Literary Theory PDF

By Terry Eagleton

Terry Eagleton is likely one of the so much important—and so much radical—theorists writing this present day. His witty and acerbic assaults on modern tradition and society are learn and loved by means of many, and his reports of literature are considered as classics of up to date 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 angle to provide attention-grabbing 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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T h e capitalist mode of production develops its dominant L M P by increasing the population, concentrating it in urban centres where it 5° is within reach of the mechanisms of literary distribution, and per­ mitting it limited degrees of literacy, affluence, leisure, shelter and privacy. A t the same time it increasingly specialises and extends its modes of literary production and distribution to sell literary com­ modities on this market, and produces the material and cultural conditions essential for professional literary production within it.

I. Drama, strictly speaking, belongs to a distinct mode of production from literature, characterised by its own relatively autonomous forces and relations. Dramatic texts may belong to the LM P, depending upon the historical character of the theatrical mode of production; but the assimilation of drama to literature is an ideologically significant appropriation. Categories for a M aterialist Criticism 47 combine elements or structures of other past, contemporary or ‘ future’ modes. T he ‘ little m agazine’, for example, characteristically combines structures of the dominant capitalist L M P with elements of collaborative production, ‘ inform al’ distribution mechanisms and ‘ consumer-participation’ untypical of the dominant productive mode.

In one sense the border is undeniably there, cleaving its path between Wales and Cambridge, car-factory and college, rural and urban, democratic and dominative, communal and individualist. But because the social formation is now, in principle, a single ‘ culture’, the border is unreal, and can be crossed either way. One might image this as a ‘ horizontal’ border shifting to one on a ‘ vertical’ scale - dividing not one ‘ culture’ from another, but dividing the culture, the ‘ common life’ of millions, from the alien hegemonic class set above them.

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