A Journal of the Irrepressible

Archive for December, 2002

The Gatekeeper

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review by Brian Charles Clark

The Gatekeeper: A Memoir
Terry Eagleton
St. Martin’s Press, 2002

Terry Eagleton grew up poor and Catholic in working class northern England to become one of the great literary critics of the Western world. His Literary Theory: An Introduction is a classic, and the ideal pedagogical tool for busting literary hubris, as it is unremittingly critical of all theory, even his own Marxism. In his memoir, The Gatekeeper, he is a writer with a fine, biting wit. At age ten, he was the “gatekeeper” at a convent—the last male (besides priests, who, Eagleton insists with a smirk, aren’t men) those 18-21 year-old nuns ever saw. Noted—and too often dismissed in the U.S.—for his socialism, Eagleton was radicalized early: “The Christian gospel invites us to contemplate the reality of human history in the broken body of an executed political criminal.” Eagleton’s humor bites, but his biggest teeth are his moral convictions, which refuse to separate the academic enterprise from the rest of the so-called real world: Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by Brian

December 5th, 2002 at 12:44 pm

Posted in memoir, reviews