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Terry Eagleton

After Theory (2003) Terry Eagleton [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]


Terry Eagleton (born in Salford, England, on February 22, 1943) is a British philosopher.

Eagleton gained a doctoral degree at the age of 21 from Trinity College, Cambridge. He is currently Professor of Cultural Theory and John Rylands Fellow at the University of Manchester. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terry_Eagleton, Apr 2004


    The author of the seminal cultural studies primer Literary Theory now levels an equally trenchant critique at the field in this brilliant and provocative reassessment. Writing in a valedictory mood, Eagleton traces the rise of cultural theory through its golden age (c. 1965-80), and bemoans its decline into a shallow, depoliticized preoccupation with sex and pop-culture ephemera. As grad students churn out "reverential essays on Friends," latter-day cultural theorists espouse a "dim-witted" postmodernism that dismisses as hegemonic claptrap all talk of common values, objective truth and coherent historical narratives; they have thereby, he contends, turned away from the great socialist project of collective action in support of universal human liberation, and aligned themselves with the nihilistic thrust of a capitalism they pretend to oppose. Alongside Eagleton's indictment of the sorry state of cultural studies is a ringing defense of its potential to address grander subjects than The Matrix or nipple piercing, which he demonstrates by weaving in deft and illuminating commentaries on such topics as Aristotle's ethics, the tension between law and morality in St. Paul and the link between the body and social justice in Lear. The book stands as both rebuke and example to the kind of academic writer who deploys turgid abstractions to flesh out meager ideas; virtually every paragraph crackles with fresh and compelling insights, conveyed in a style that's intellectually sophisticated yet lucid, funny and down to earth. In rescuing cultural studies from some of its less thoughtful practitioners, Eagleton confirms its continuing importance to our understanding of the world. --Copyright Reed Business Information

Sweet Violence: The Idea of the Tragic (2002) - Terry Eagleton

Sweet Violence: The Idea of the Tragic (2002) - Terry Eagleton [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Book Description
Terry Eagleton provides a comprehensive study of tragedy, all the way from Aeschylus to Edward Albee, dealing with both theory and practice, and moving between ideas of tragedy and analyses of particular works and authors. This amazing tour-de-force steps out beyond the stage to reflect not only on tragic art but also on real-life tragedy. It explores the idea of the tragic in the novel, examining such writers as Melville, Hawthorne, Stendhal, Tolstoy, Flaubert, Dostoevsky, Kafka, Manzoni, Goethe and Mann, as well as English novelists.With his characteristic brilliance and inventiveness of mind, Eagleton weaves together literature, philosophy, ethics, theology, and political theory. In so doing he makes a major political-philosophical statement drawn from a startling range of Western thought, in the writings of Plato, St Paul, St Augustine, Descartes, Pascal, Spinoza, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Sartre and others.This book takes serious issue with the idea of 'the death of tragedy', and gives a comprehensive survey of definitions of tragedy itself, arguing a radical and controversial case. It examines such notions as justice, death, suffering, the demonic, sado-masochism, heroism, sacrifice, freedom, determinism, and modernity. Most dramatically, it looks in a new light at why tragedy gives pleasure, and explores the reasons it has so often been seen as an affirmative mode, in a way that suppresses the wretchedness and suffering it involves. --from the publisher

Page 56
Tragedy is Dionysian impulse discharging itself in Apollonian imagery. ...
For both philosophers [Nietzsche and Freud], Eros and Thanatos can be found on both sides of the chasm ...

See also: tragedy - sweet - violence - Terry Eagleton - culture theory - Cultural Studies

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