In a series of interviews that span the development of Eagleton’s thought and politics, the book works as ‘an intellectual autobiography’ as well as a discussion of the democratic potential of literary theory:
Nobody expects an engineering textbook to require anything but diligent attention. This is not a matter of the intrinsic elitism of engineers. “And just as in engineering, there is a specific set of skills and languages to be learnt in literary theory in order to understand it. What I’m saying is that populism need not be the only opposition to elitism.”
A good point, and a fine one. The complexity of the situation is there, right out in the open, but Eagleton evokes it in terms that, while simple, do not understate what is at stake. That tends to be much harder than it looks (…)
Something worth adding to the list of new year’s resolutions: “Read more Terry Eagleton.”
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