Terry Eagleton

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

Sourced

  • Deconstruction ... insists not that truth is illusory but that it is institutional.
    • Frère Jacques: The Politics of Deconstruction, ch. 6, Against the Grain (1984)
  • Postmodernism is among other things a sick joke at the expense of ... revolutionary avant-gardism.
    • Capitalism, Modernism and Postmodernism, ch. 9 (1985)
  • What persuades men and women to mistake each other from time to time for gods or vermin is ideology. One can understand well enough how human beings may struggle and murder for good material reasons—reasons connected, for instance, with their physical survival. It is much harder to grasp how they may come to do so in the name of something as apparently abstract as ideas. Yet ideas are what men and women live by, and will occasionally die for.
    • Ideology, introduction (1991)
  • It is silly to call fat people “gravitationally challenged”, a self-righteous fetishism of language which is no more than a symptom of political frustration.
    • Guardian (October 27, 1992)
  • Post-structuralism is among other things a kind of theoretical hangover from the failed uprising of ‘68, a way of keeping the revolution warm at the level of language, blending the euphoric libertarianism of that moment with the stoical melancholia of its aftermath.
    • Guardian (October 27, 1992)

Literary Theory: An Introduction (1983)

  • Literature transforms and intensifies ordinary language, deviates systematically from everyday speech. If you approach me at a bus stop and murmur “Thou still unravished bride of quietness,” then I am instantly aware that I am in the presence of the literary.
    • “What Is Literature?”
  • [Literature] is organised violence committed on ordinary speech.
  • Ideaology is a contemporary mythology.

Against The Grain (1986)

  • Chaucer was a class traitor
    Shakespeare hated the mob
    Donne sold out a bit later
    Sidney was a nob.
    • Ch. 14,The Ballad of English Literature
  • All propaganda or popularization involves a putting of the complex into the simple, but such a move is instantly deconstructive. For if the complex can be put into the simple, then it cannot be as complex as it seemed in the first place; and if the simple can be an adequate medium of such complexity, then it cannot after all be as simple as all that.
    • Ch. 10, The Critic as Clown
  • Readers are less and less seen as mere non-writers, the subhuman “other” or flawed derivative of the author; the lack of a pen is no longer a shameful mark of secondary status but a positively enabling space, just as within every writer can be seen to lurk, as a repressed but contaminating antithesis, a reader.
    • Ch. 13, The Revolt of the Reader


External links

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Terry Eagleton
Last modified on 15 October 2008, at 15:41