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  • The Ballad of Marxist Criticism (to the tune of “Say Something Stupid Like I Love You”)
  • Terry Eagleton (bio)

The day I found Dick Hoggart was a populist reformist         sentimentalist Nostalgic petty-bourgeois social democrat subjectivist         empiricist I saw the light of day, I turned to Ray, my structure    of feeling it was born anew Until I went and spoiled it all by writing something      stupid in New Left Review

Well then I read some Lukács that was fine       I toed the line about totality And since I was a prole it stirred my soul to know        my consciousness could set men free I was ignorant of Scott but who was not it didn’t      matter Georgy was my man That dirty-low-down formalistic Stalinist historicist         Hegelian

Well things were getting schlecht I turned to Brecht     and Piscator and Walter Benjamin Productive forces shock verfremdung contradiction,      baby it was just my scene Though Benjamin was swell well what the hell   who could admire as his main theorist An adjacentist eclectic individualist technologistic humanist? You may talk of Adorno but I don’t know it’s   pretty tortuous and gloomy stuff And Jameson is fine but to imbibe it after wine   just leaves you feeling rough [End Page v]

Well I was in a spin I couldn’t win so I waxed slightly       semiological Till digging out deep structures was denounced      by Macheray as metaphysical Though Althusser is smart his views on art and ideology      don’t ring quite true So hello Helen Gardner Donald Davie Denis Donoghue,      I love you.

Terry Eagleton
Oxford University
Terry Eagleton

Terry Eagleton writes plays for Irish theater and lives in Dublin. He is also Thomas Warton Professor of English at Oxford University.


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