What makes a work of literature good or bad? How freely can the reader interpret it? Could a nursery rhyme like Baa Baa Black Sheep be full of. What makes a work of literature good or bad? TERRY EAGLETON . The fact that we have just read the words 'A Novel' on the title page rules out these. HOW TO READ LITERATURE indd 1 14/03/13 PM HOW TO READ LITERATURE TERRY EAGLETON YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS NEW HAVEN AND.
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𝗣𝗗𝗙 | Terry Eagleton, the author of How to Read Literature, is a well-known British literary theorist, critic and public intellectual. He is a professor of English. This books (How to Read Literature [PDF]) Made by Terry Eagleton About Books A literary master s entertaining guide to reading with deeper. Eagleton, Terry, Literary theory: an introduction / Terry Eagleton. theory: the very meaning of 'literature', 'reading' and 'criticism' has under- gone deep.
Nonetheless, he insists, there are criteria for determining literary value. The criteria are "public", and embedded in the set of "social practices" known as "literary criticism".
One signal virtue, it suddenly turns out, is spontaneity. Eagleton berates a passage from John Updike because "There is nothing spontaneous about it," and laments of an extract from William Faulkner that it has "an air of spontaneity about it which is almost entirely fabricated".
How to Read Literature
One wonders how Eagleton imagines that any paragraph composed by a serious writer could show a spontaneity that was unfabricated. Fabrication is the name of the game.
All airs of spontaneity, as well as any other literary effects, have to be carefully fabricated by their authors. Truly "spontaneous" writing must be that to which the author has given no thought at all, and so which is certain to be rubbish: the kind of stuff, perhaps, that writing gurus instruct their students to perpetrate for 10 minutes first thing in the morning to clear the mental pipes, but which is hardly meant for public consumption. All writing is a machine for the delivery of a time-delayed and space-shifted performance.
The more spontaneous has been the machine's assembly, the less reliable will be its functioning. One should trust "spontaneous" writing just as much as a spontaneously knocked-together motorcycle.
Things don't improve much when Eagleton, discussing Evelyn Waugh, praises the "honesty" of his prose. What does this mean, in the context of people who are making things up?
It would be a shame, though, if readers felt subsequently encouraged to judge writing according to its perceived qualities of "honesty" and "spontaneity".
Unfailingly authoritative and cheerfully opinionated, the author provides useful commentaries on classicism, Romanticism, modernism, and postmodernism along with spellbinding insights into a huge range of authors, from Shakespeare and J.
Rowling to Jane Austen and Samuel Beckett.
How to Read Literature, by Terry Eagleton
One of the most influential literary critics in the English-speaking world, he is the author of more than 40 books on literary theory, postmodernism, politics, ideology, and religion, among them his best-selling Literary Theory: An Introduction. He lives in Northern Ireland, UK.
This short book benefits from a conversational, even humorous tone. What Eagleton refers to as "slow reading", after Nietzsche, seems horribly endangered as a human activity. He draws us back to basics here, in a sequence of sharp analyses, taking into account the essential aspects of intelligent reading.
I love his breezy style, so accessible and concrete; yet he never sacrifices nuance or subtlety. This is a book for every reader, not only beginners, yet it will prove immensely useful in the classroom.
How to read How to Read Literature?Is the narrator sending up his own high-handed manner? Yale University Press Language: English What makes a work of literature good or bad? Description Reviews Table of Contents.
Bad writing, they imply, is clever, calculated, glossy, voulu, slick, busy, contrived. Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded. In this chapter then, I aim to provide some practical exercises in literary analysis, taking as my texts the first lines or sentences of various well-known literary works. In a series of brilliant analyses, Eagleton shows how to read with due attention to tone, rhythm, texture, syntax, allusion, ambiguity, and other formal aspects of literary works.
He was fine when he was a child.
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