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Marxism and Literary Criticism Paperback – August 16, 1976


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (August 16, 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520032438
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520032439
  • Product Dimensions: 0.3 x 5 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #447,779 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'Terry Eagleton is that rare bird among literary critics - a real writer.' - Colin McCabe, The Guardian --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

“Far and away the best short introduction to Marxist criticism (both history and problems) which I have seen.”—Fredric R. Jameson

More About the Author

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.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ryan C. Mccarty on April 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
eagleton is probably the most accessible marxist critic writing today (although many people have a hard time getting over his connections with raymond williams and with his polemical style). this intro to the field is excellent for those who do not plan to read many of eagleton's later works or who just want to see what a nuanced perspective on marxist literary/cultural criticism looks like. his discussions of benjamin and brect show up a great deal in later books (esp walter benjamin or towards a revolutionary criticism) and are discussed in much finer detail. if you are looking for a true introduction to marxist literary theory, this is not the book for you (try the marxist literary theory anthology eagleton and drew milne edit instead) since it is more of an intro to eagleton's brand of criticism and theory.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Clermont-Ferrand on December 24, 2007
Format: Paperback
Terry Eagleton's 'Marxism and Literary Criticism' is a short and accessible introduction to the principle theories of Marxist thought with regard to literary criticism; highlighting individual thinkers from Marx and Engels, to Lenin and Trotsky, thru to Walter Benjamin and Bertolt Brecht.

Eagleton explores the various concepts of key Marxist critics including Marx himself, noting also the limited nature that all criticism faces, while setting out to prove that Marxist Criticism is more than merely a "sociology of Literature" and argues that Marxist criticism

"...has its significant, if not central, role to play in the transformation of human societies."

and with a subtle sense of irony admits -- necessarily including himself:

"Critics are not just analysts of texts; they are also (usually) academics hired by the state to prepare students ideologically for their functions within capitalist society."

'Marxism and Literary Criticism' is an easy to read preparatory guide that provides a full bibliography for those wanting to explore the depths and varieties of a Marxist approach to literary criticism by reading the Marxist Critics themselves.

Despite being thirty years old the book -- having first been published in 1976 -- still remains relevant in that it highlights the relevance of Marxist thought to our contemporary Twenty-First century. It could be asked, as Eagleton does, how is Marxism relevant other than as a historical point of view with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the increasing industrialization of China and the fall of the Berlin Wall?
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful By livingston on December 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
marxism and literary criticism is a concise work of art - much like the art eagleton believes is a distinctive responsiblity for any author to create. he is successfuly able to colour marx as being compassionate towards the healty-expression of society through the means of expressive and creative literature rather than a cold, dry theorist. eagleton's focus is: literature and history, form and content, the commitment of the author, and the author as a producer.
this is a good study for authors, sociologist, and other creative artists alike.
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2 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Bob Tripper on December 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
Eagleton has the capability to mask condescension and elitism with the rhetoric of Marxist theory. Unfortunately for naive consumers seeking to read about Marxism and suckered into buying this little mess (myself included) because of the misrepresenting title, Eagleton's work is hackneyed and inaccessible, and easily overlooked in favor of true Marxist critics. Eagleton does earn one star, as only a true capitalist could pawn off such a cursory and trite stab at Marxist theory for fifteen dollars! Marx would be proud!
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