Terry Eagleton

From Academic Kids

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

Eagleton gained a doctoral degree at the age of 21 from Trinity College, Cambridge. Having spent some years at Oxford at Wadham College and Wolfson College, he is currently Professor of Cultural Theory and John Rylands Fellow at the University of Manchester.

Eagleton was the student of the Marxist literary critic Raymond Williams. He began his career studying the literature of the 19th and 20th centures. Then he progressed to Marxist literary theory in the vein of Williams. Most recently Eagleton has integrated cultural studies with more traditional literary theory.

Literary Theory: An Introduction, probably his best-known work, traces history of the contemporary study of text, from the Romantics of the 19th century to the postmodernists of the last few decades. While Eagleton's neo-Marxist beliefs occasionally color his analysis, he is not afraid to critique deconstruction and other fashionable modes of thought.

Eagleton's most recent work, After Theory, cogently indicts current cultural and literary theory, and what Eagleton sees as the bastardization of both. However, he does not conclude that the interdisciplinary study of literature and culture is theoretically without merit; in fact, Eagleton argues (and demonstrates) that such a merging is effective at addressing a wide range of significant topics.

Publications

  • Marxism and Literary Criticism (1976)
  • Literary Theory: An Introduction (1983/1996)
  • Saint Oscar (a play about Oscar Wilde)
  • Ideology: An Introduction (1991)
  • The Gatekeeper: A Memoir (2001)
  • After Theory (2004)

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