Sweet Violence: The Idea of the Tragic / Edition 1

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Terry Eagleton's Tragedy provides a major critical and analytical account of the concept of 'tragedy' from its origins in the Ancient world right down to the twenty-first century.

  • A major new intellectual endeavour from one of the world's finest, and most controversial, cultural theorists.
  • Provides an analytical account of the concept of 'tragedy' from its origins in the ancient world to the present day.
  • Explores the idea of the 'tragic' across all genres of writing, as well as in philosophy, politics, religion and psychology, and throughout western culture.
  • Considers the psychological, religious and socio-political implications and consequences of our fascination with the tragic.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Terry Eagleton’s titanic tryst with the Tragic muse crowns a career devoted to exploring the ideology of aesthetic and political form … This is a brave and bracing book that bridges Eagleton’s secular, socialist ideals with his metaphysical and theological aspirations: a remarkable comedic spirit hovers over this passionate reflection on the temper of tragedy." Homi K. Bhabha, Harvard University

"Sweet Violence has all the characteristics that compel the reader, however tested and exasperated, to admire its author. It is long, discursive, packed with illustrations drawn from enormous reading in world literature, perverse and even, quite often, funny." New York Times

"Eagleton has raised a banner for a terrifying but beautiful new seriousness in the arts, directly drawn from our contemporary world. It is an extraordinary achievement and ... an inspiration." The Guardian

"The best book Terry Eagleton has yet written." English Studies

Publishers Weekly
"The aspects of tragedy I have in mind take with utmost seriousness the lethal as well as life-giving inheritances of which the present is partly made up, and which an amnesiac postmodernism has conveniently suppressed." With chapters on "The Value of Agony," "Pity, Fear and Pleasure" and "Freedom, Fate and Justice," British literary critic and political theorist Eagleton (whose well-received memoir The Gatekeeper is just out from St.Martin's) runs through the West's tragic literature, from Sophocles to Ibsen and beyond, to begin constructing a new, tragically informed language for the political left: "Don't settle for that set of shabby fantasies known as reality, but cling to your faith that the deathly emptiness of the dispossessed is the only source from which a more jubilant, self-delighting existence can ultimately spring." (Sept.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631233602
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 10/7/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 348
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 9.05 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Meet the Author

Terry Eagleton is Professor of Cultural Theory and John Rylands Fellow at the University of Manchester. His numerous works include The Illusions of Postmodernism (1996), Literary Theory: An Introduction (second edition, 1996), The Ideology of the Aesthetic (1990), Scholars and Rebels in Nineteenth Century Ireland (1999), and The Idea of Culture (2000), all published by Blackwell, as are his dramatic writings, St Oscar and Other Plays (1997), and the Eagleton Reader (1997) edited by Stephen Regan. His memoir The Gatekeeper was published in 2002.

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Table of Contents



1. A Theory in Ruins.

2. The Value of Agony.

3. From Hegel to Beckett.

4. Heroes.

5. Freedom, Fate and Justice.

6. Pity, Fear and Pleasure.

7. Tragedy and the Novel.

8. Tragedy and Modernity.

9 Demons.

10. Thomas Mann's Hedgehog.



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