July 2008, Polity
This book undertakes a lucid and detailed analysis of Eagleton's oeuvre. It gives close attention to the full range of Eagleton's major publications, examining their arguments and implications, as well as how they have intervened in wider debates in cultural theory. It also investigates his less familiar works, such as his early writing on the Catholic left, as well as other as yet unpublished material, showing how these works can be understood alongside the more prominent areas of his thought.
Through this, this book offers a cohesive overview of Eagleton's career to date, tracing the development of his theoretical positions, and an assessment of Eagleton's wider contributions to fields such as Marxist literary criticism and cultural theory. It will be essential reading for students of literary criticism, cultural theory, and intellectual history.
List of abbreviations viii
1 Eagleton and the Catholic Left 9
2 From Williams to Althusser: Eagleton’s Early Literary Criticism 32
3 The Critic as Azdak: Eagleton in the 1980s 59
4 The Ideology of the Postmodern 93
5 Nationalism, Socialism, and Ireland 117
6 The Full Circle? 140
Literature and Theology
"As a differentiating and circumspect writer who pays as much
attention to his subject as to the larger context, Smith renders a
nuanced account of Eagleton?s involved intellectual
Consciousness, Literature and the Arts
"Gives a comprehensive and lucid analysis of Eagleton's oevre
and pays due attention to his early writings on the Catholic
The Guardian readers' recommendations
"Smith offers a lucid account of Eagleton's work."
Times Literary Supplement
"This is the first full treatment of Terry Eagleton's work. And,
since Eagleton has written three careers' worth of work, the book
is remarkable for its effortless coverage. It's also remarkable for
digging up Eagleton's early work on religion. If you want to find
out about Eagleton's work, this book will be a standard."
Jeffrey Williams, Carnegie Mellon University
"An excellent introduction to the work of Terry Eagleton, which
provides a fine-grained and wide-awake appraisal of the whole curve
of his remarkable career ... Smith knows Eagleton?s work inside
out, possibly by now even better than Eagleton himself, but his
strongly informed sympathy with it does not inhibit him from
articulating some sharp criticisms as well."
Stephen Connor, Birkbeck College