How to Read Literature

The book How to Read Literature (2013) is an introduction to the field of literary criticism. Terry Eagleton provides a critical framework for understanding literature in terms of theories, histories, and methodologies. In the first two chapters, Eagleton talks about the history of Western literature and how it has been studied as a capitalist enterprise. The last three chapters focus on various schools of criticism from formalism to post-structuralism.

Eagleton discusses the nature of insight in regard to literature. He says that in the English class, the big questions in the literary study are understanding and interpretation. He believes in a reader-based approach in which a reader’s experience is central.

The book is basically about the different aspects of what is involved when reading literature. The book is divided into five parts. The first is called “Openings” where Eagleton talks about the different ways literature is defined. He also discusses how it is not just fiction but includes other genres such as drama, poetry, etc. The last part of the book is called “Value” where he goes over the different effects literature has on society.

Further Reading

How to Read Terry Eagleton’s ‘How To Read Literature’ by Jesse Kavadlo, PopMatters Media, Inc.

‘How To Read Literature’ by Terry Eagleton. Understanding Openings and ‘A Passage to India’, Yale University Press

What I’m reading: How To Read Literature, Terry Eagleton by Carol Schaal, Notre Dame Magazine

Terry Eagleton and Marxist Literary Theory by Nasrullah Mambrol,

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