Marxist Literary and Cultural Theories / Edition 1

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Transitions critically explores movements in literary theory. Guiding the reader through the poetics and politics of interpretative paradigms and schools of thought. Transitions helps direct the student's own acts of critical analysis. As well as transforming the critical developments of the past by interpreting them from the perspective of the present day, each study enacts transitional readings of a number of well-known literary texts.
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Editorial Reviews

A much-needed reminder of the explanatory power offered by Marxist literary theory, this book will serve undergraduate and graduate students.
Haslett (English, St. Patrick's College, Dublin) challenges critics who simplify and dismiss Marxist literary and cultural theories. She draws on a wide range of Marxist thinkers to demonstrate the diversity and continuing relevance of the approach. She finds that it is primarily concerned with the relationships between literature, culture, and society and with attempts to situate texts politically and historically. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
From the Publisher

"A much-needed reminder of the explanatory power offered by Marxist literary theory, this book will serve undergraduate and graduate students." --Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312226732
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 2/28/2000
  • Series: Transitions Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 234
  • Product dimensions: 5.77 (w) x 8.79 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Moyra Haslett is Lecturer in English at St. Patrick's College, Dublin.

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Table of Contents

General Editor's Preface vii
Acknowledgments ix
Introduction: The Politics of Intellectual Work 1
Marxism and literary and cultural studies 7
Part I Key Theories
1. Culture and Society 15
Base and superstructure 17
The materiality of culture 24
Materialism and dialectics 35
The materiality of language 39
2. Culture and Ideology 50
Ideology as doctrine 51
Ideology as ritual 59
Ideology as belief 75
3. A Question of Form: the Realism/Modernism Debates 86
Lukacs's realism 88
The modernist response 93
Realism/modernism/postmodernism 112
4. Cultural Studies 126
A (traditional) history of cultural studies 130
The question of popular culture 151
Part II Applications and Readings
Interchapter: Marxist Readings 165
5. A Labouring Woman Poet in the Age of Pope: Mary Leapor's 'Crumble-Hall' (1751) 169
Patronising plebeian poets 170
Rural authenticity? 173
Upstairs, downstairs in an eighteenth-century country house 178
A woman's perspective 191
Possible critiques of this reading 195
6. 'The Muffled Clink of Crystal Touching Mahogany': Jane Austen in the 1990s 200
Images of England: the hard sell 202
Updating Austen 215
Jane Austen: our contemporary? 220
Possible critiques of this reading 227
7. A Portrait of Modern Times: Reading The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891) 233
Wilde: socialist or aesthete? 233
The commodity world of Dorian Gray 236
Commodity fetishism 246
Possible critiques of this reading 254
Part III Marxism for the Twenty-first Century
Interchapter: Beyond 2000: Alternative Futures 261
8. The Challenge of Post-marxism 264
The politics of poststructuralism 271
9. Utopian Orientations 281
Appendix Thomas Carew, 'To Saxham'; Mary Leapor, 'Crumble-Hall' 285
Annotated Bibliography 292
Bibliography 297
Index 316
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