The author's thesis in this book is clear, which is that there is no such thing as "Literary Theory," and any literary work should be read in light of it's social, historical, especially political backgrounds. With limited space, Eagleton introduces several main theories in the history of literary theory (explained and criticized), from Russian Formalism to Psychoanalysis (and he reviewed Feminism and Post-Colonialism in the Afterwords of the 2nd edition). As a real beginner in this field, my opinion is that the theories are introduced in a concise manner, and for me it's clear and understandable. But I don't really think the author spend enough paragraphs to satisfactorily explain why all those theories are defective, and have failed to provide a solid basis for literature. Sometimes I just feel the conclusions come so fast, and that makes he's own argument not very convincing to me....Continua
A highly readable and eloquent introduction to some of the most important literary theories in history. A must-read for all those confused by the current dogmatic discussion about the culture of and the power struggle in Hong Kong.