The Illusions of Postmodernism

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9780631203223: The Illusions of Postmodernism

In this brilliant new critique, Terry Eagleton explores the beginnings, ambivalences, histories, subjects, fallacies and contradictions of postmodernism. Concerned less with recherche formulations of postmodern philosophy than with the culture or milieu, or even the sensibility, of postmodernism as a whole, he has in his sights, above all, a particular kind of student, or consumer, of 'popular' brands of postmodern thought.
Although Professor Eagleton's view of the topic is, as he says, generally a negative one, he draws attention equally to postmodernism's strengths as well as its failings. He sets out not just to expose the illusory, but, by subtly grounded argument, to show the students he has in mind that they never believed what they thought they believed in the first place. In the process his devastating gifts for irony and satire sharpen the reader's pleasure, just as his commitment to the ethical and the vision of a just society inspire engagement and 'a refusal to acquiesce in the appalling mess which is the contemporary world'.

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From the Back Cover:

This brilliant critique explores the origins and emergence of postmodernism, revealing its ambivalences and contradictions. His primary concern is less with the more intricate formulations of postmodern philosophy than with the culture or milieu of postmodernism as a whole. Above all he speaks to a particular kind of student, or consumer, of popular "brands" of postmodern thought.

Although Professor Eagleton's view of the topic is, as he says, generally a negative one, he points to postmodernism's strengths as well as its failings. He sets out not just to expose the illusions of postmodernism but to show the students he has in mind that they never believed what they thought they believed in the first place. In the process his gifts for irony and satire sharpen the reader's pleasure, and his commitment to the ethical and the vision of a just society, inspire engagement and "a refusal to acquiesce in the appalling mess which is the contemporary world".

About the Author:

Terry Eagleton is Professor of Cultural Theory and John Rylands Fellow at the University of Manchester. The Second Edition of his classic Literary Theory: An Introduction appeared in 1996 as did Marxist Literary Theory: A Reader, co-edited with Drew Milne. His numerous other books include Heathcliffe and the Great Hunger (1995), The Ideology of the Aesthetic (1990), William Shakespeare (1986), Walter Benjamin (1976), Criticism and Ideology (1976), and Marxism and Literary Criticism (1976).

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