The Task of the Critic: Terry Eagelton in Dialogue
Terry Eagleton occupies a unique position in the English-speaking world today. He is not only a productive literary theorist, but also a novelist and playwright. He remains a committed socialist deeply hostile to the zeitgeist. Over the last forty years his public interventions have enlivened an otherwise bland and conformist culture. His pen, as many colleagues in the academy—including Harold Bloom, Gayatri Spivak and Homi Bhabha—have learnt, is merciless and unsparing. As a critic Eagleton has not shied away from confronting the high priests of native conformity as highlighted by his coruscating polemic against Martin Amis on the issue of civil liberties and religion.
This comprehensive volume of interviews covers both his life and the development of his thought and politics. Lively and insightful, they will appeal not only to those with an interest in Eagleton himself, but to all those interested in the evolution of radical politics, modernism, cultural theory, the history of ideas, sociology, semantic inquiry and the state of Marxist theory.
“Second to none among cultural critics writing in the English language today.” — Guardian
“A combative, fiercely articulate and witty Marxist literary critic.” — The Nation
“Eagleton is informative, witty and wise.” — Times Higher Education Supplement
“That dreadful Terry Eagleton.” — Prince Charles
Terry Eagleton is Professor of Cultural Theory and John Rylands Fellow at the University of Manchester. His other publications include Walter Benjamin, Literary Theory: An Introduction, The Function of Criticism, Criticism and Ideology, The Illusions of Postmodernism, Figures of Dissent and Ideology: An Introduction. He is also a dramatist, and his plays have been collected in Saint Oscar and Other Plays; in addition, he has written the filmscript for Wittgenstein and the novel Saints and Scholars.