The Rise of English

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Eagleton, Terry, Library Theory : an Introduction – The Rise of English, by University of Minnesota -2008 Author: Fagner Ribeiro Eagleton showed the often unwitting connivance between State power and the spokesmen of the Anglo-American lit-crit establishment in that period. He looks a little bit romantic in certain parts of the chapter (citing Shelley’-Defence of Poetry) although noting that as an area to study, English literature wasn’t seriously considered until after World War and when the Leavises introduced its study to Cambridge in a system many of us would find familiar. To them, we owe the core of the canon. Not everyone thinks this is a good thing. Between the wars, the Leavises provided us with an answer to one of the great questions of literature; why read? The answer seemed simple; to be a better person. Also He mention about the gender , only females got used to study English, and this idea of necessity became increasingly challenged after World War II when it was discovered that certain concentration camp commandants like to wile away their leisure hours reading Goethe. Some Marxism idea is presented when Eagleton states literature as a valuable way to hold the classes together in the failure of religion. He doesn’t spell it out, but is clearly suggesting literature as an opiate for the masses. The society that reads together won’t revolt. After Leavis, the literary theorists whose work he examines are also literary practitioners (Lawrence, Eliot) but Eagleton insists upon the significance of the political to literary discussion, on the grounds that otherwise it will become too abstract. Then he looks at the critic I.A. Richards who wrote about the psychological link between writers and readers, although now, as Oryx demonstrates, out of fashion. Eagleton doesn’t approve of it much, either. He observes that for some of these theorists, as for American New Criticism exponents, the disinterested way they approach texts is a recipe for political...
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