Criticism and Ideology is also and very evidently a transitional work, not only by virtue of the place that it will come to occupy in a lengthening sequence of books, but also, as Eagleton himself observes, because of the modifications and developments of argument that occur within it, in a compositional series whose order is not that of the published volume.
The remarks that follow are made on this understanding; what they represent is not a critique—as of a consolidated intellectual position, in the name of a stable alternative—or even a comprehensive review of the standard kind, but a series of notes, neither complete nor conclusive, written in counterpoint to some key themes invoked in or arising from the book.
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Criticism and Ideology is the first major study in Marxist literary theory to be written in England in forty years—that is an important part of its distinction. It is also, Eagleton would add, the cause of its embarrassment. It is to feel acutely bereft of a tradition, as a tolerated house-guest of Europe, a precocious but parasitic alien.
The political and cultural ramifications of that distinction are thoroughly familiar now, after more than a decade of steadily widening acceptance among British Marxists. And its salutary effects are obvious: there now exists an identifiable Marxist current in British culture, still small and vulnerable, but nonetheless versatile and productive, and perhaps more internationalist in cultural outlook than its longer-established counterparts in France, Germany and Italy, from which it has learned so much.
But it needs to be asked whether the foundations of the distinction were entirely sound, and whether, in the changed politico-cultural conditions of the late Seventies, its weaknesses may not now be of greater importance than its strengths. An issue so large and complex, theoretically and in terms of substantive historical analysis, cannot be discussed in the present context.
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One concrete indication of its contours, taken from Criticism and Ideology , will have to suffice for the present. Mecanicsville, PA, Sunbury Press, Table of Contents and sample chapters. Introduction by Ali and Barsky. Introduction by Barsky. Workers Councils , by Anton Pannekoek. A new and revised edition, edited and with comments by Robert Barsky, interviews with Noam Chomsky, Ken Coates and Peter Hitchcock, and a republication of a seminal piece by Paul Mattick.
Aldershot; Burlington; Sydney; Singapore: Ashgate, Noam Chomsky: A Life of Dissent. Bakhtin and Otherness. Literary and Language Theory; translation; Literature and Law. You must be logged in to post a comment.
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Marxism in Literary Criticism
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Peter Hitchcock, Rachel Falconer. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, Gisela Brinker Gabler. New Delhi: Sterling Publishers Private, , pp. Gay and Lesbian Quarterly 1. Sussex, Sussex Academic Press, Ashgate Press,