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Eagleton, Terry. HOW TO READ LITERATURE. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2013. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 220 pages. As New/As New.

Book-length account on subject. One of Terry Eagleton's best books. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions, particularly the Softcover Edition. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original by a University Press. Presents Terry Eagleton's "how-to-read", his literary manifesto. "In a series of brilliant analyses, Eagleton shows how to read with due attention to tone, rhythm, texture, syntax, allusion, ambiguity, and other formal aspects of literary works. He also examines broader questions of character, plot, narrative, the creative imagination, the meaning of fictionality, and the tension between what works of literature say and what they show" (Publisher's blurb). While Eagleton is inescapably identified with "theory", his reaching-out to a broader audience is proof, if proof were needed, that the latter is dying, if not dead, except, ironically enough, in the most provincial enclaves of academe. We no longer live in the Age of Creation. This may come as a surprise or news to some, but we haven't, dare one say it, since Shakespeare. We live, and thrive, in the Age of Commentary, where, if it is any good, every new work of literature is an unpredictable and unexpectedly moving re-creative comment on what has already been said, written, and done. The novel remains the greatest form of commentary on Shakespeare; the greatest commentators are novelists, not academic theorists. As Nabokov once said, every writer is someone who experienced ecstasy as a reader. Hence Eagleton's "how-to-read" is not just timely, it is a necessary synthesis on reading. Understanding literature through the most useful paradigms of "genre", "storytelling", "form", and "language" is back with a vengeance, and one hopes, for good. Eagleton does not transcend Harold Bloom, on the one hand, or James Wood, on the other. On the contrary, he now writes in the same breath, with a renewed enthusiasm that surpasses arid, pretentious, and useless "theory". A "must-have" title for Terry Eagleton and literature reader/collectors. This title will become collectible. This is one of relatively few copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. A scarce copy thus. One of the most important living literary critics. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER TERRY EAGLETON TITLE IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0300190964. $30.00

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