Tag Archives: literary theory

Marxism and Literature (Raymond Williams)

marxism and lit - cvr“This book is written in a time of radical change. Its subject, Marxism and Literature. is part of this change. Even twenty years ago, and especially in the English·speaking countries, it would have been possible to assume, on the one hand. that Marxism is a settled body of theory or doctrine, and, on the other hand, that Literature is a settled body of work. or kinds of work, with known general Qualities and properties. A book of this kind might then reasonably have explored problems of the relations between them or, assuming a certain relationship, passed Quickly to specific applications. The situation is now very different. Marxism, in many fields. and perhaps especially in cultural theory has experienced at once a significant revival and a related openness and flexibility of theoretical development. Literature, meanwhile, for related reasons, has become problematic in quite new ways.” (from the introduction)

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Literary Theory: An Introduction (Terry Eagleton)

eagleton-literary-theory-cvr“This book sets out to provide a reasonably comprehensive account of modern literary theory for those with little or no previous knowledge of the topic. Though such a project obviously involves omissions and oversimplifications, I have tried to popularize, rather than vulgarize, the subject. Since there is in my opinion no ‘neutral’, value-free way of presenting it, I have argued throughout a particular case, which I hope adds to the book’s interest.” (from the book’s Preface
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In Theory: Classes, Nations, Literature (Aijaz Ahmad)

intheorycvrIn this historical context, the category of “Third World literature” emerged, a category that has itself spawned a whole industry of scholarly and critical studies, particularly in the metropolitan West, but increasingly in the homelands of the Third World itself.

Setting himself against the growing tendency to homogenize “Third World” literature and cultures, Aijaz Ahmad has produced a spirited critique of the major theoretical statements on “colonial discourse” and “post-colonialism,” dismantling many of the commonplaces and conceits that dominate contemporary cultural criticism. With lengthy considerations of, among others, Fredric Jameson, Edward Said, and the Subaltern Studies group, In Theory also contains brilliant analyses of the concept of Indian literature, of the genealogy of the term “Third World,” and of the conditions under which so-called “colonial discourse theory” emerged in metropolitan intellectual circles. (source)

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Marxism, Modernity, Postcolonial Studies

At a time when even much of the political left seems to believe that transnational capitalism is here to stay, Marxism, Modernity and Postcolonial Studies refuses to accept the inevitability of the so-called ‘New World Order’. By giving substantial attention to topics such as globalisation, racism, and modernity, it provides a specifically Marxist intervention into postcolonial and cultural studies. An international team of contributors locate a common ground of issues engaging Marxist and postcolonial critics alike. Arguing that Marxism is not the inflexible, monolithic irrelevance some critics assume it to be, this collection aims to open avenues of debate – especially on the crucial concept of ‘modernity’ – which have been closed off by the widespread neglect of Marxist analysis in postcolonial studies. Politically focused, at times polemical and always provocative, this book is a major contribution to contemporary debates on literary theory, cultural studies, and the definition of postcolonial studies. (source)

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