Terry Eagleton discusses his new book 'The Event of Literature' (part 1)
Tuesday, 03 April 2012
In his new book The Event of Literature Terry Eagleton returns to the discipline to which he has devoted his career: literary theory. The book reconsiders previous stances of lit theory and offers fresh takes on much-studied books and critical theories. Here, in this exclusive author video, Terry discusses his conscious return to pure literary theory, and the implications of this in contemporary culture.
In throwing new light on these and other questions he has raised in previous best-sellers (including On Evil, Why Marx was Right and Reason, Faith and Revolution), Eagleton offers a new theory of what we mean by literature. He also shows what it is that a great many different literary theories have in common.
The Event of Literature is a highly unusual combination of critical theory and analytic philosophy, in which Eagleton sees all literary work, from novels to poems, as a strategy to contain a reality that seeks to thwart that containment, and in doing so throws up new problems that the work tries to resolve. The “event” of literature, Eagleton argues, consists in this continual transformative encounter, unique and endlessly repeatable.