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"Having it both ways" Navigating Terry Eagleton's contemporary identities

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Description: My thesis explores Terry Eagleton's shifting identities as a literary theorist and writer. Although Eagleton is known chiefly as a Marxist literary theorist, an in-depth investigation of his career reveals a penchant for reinvention. In the mid-1990s, Eagleton simultaneously embraced Ireland and creative, multi-genre writing. Eagleton's Irish phase led him to pen fiction, poetry, plays, and his memoir. Following Eagleton's foray into Irish cultural studies, he returned to the subject of literary theory, advocating for a trust of foundations in the wake of postmodernism. Eagleton emerges as a theologian, encouraging the current generation of theorists to adopt the role of the public intellectual. I argue that Terry Eagleton's career serves as a useful lens through which to view the field of English academia overall. To survive in an increasingly "post-theoretical" era, cultural theorists must establish theory's real world relevance and confront ideas and values that theory has traditionally resisted.
Language: English
Format: Degree Work