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By Terry Eagleton

Leemos sin prestar atención, pendientes de mil cosas. a menudo nos quedamos únicamente con el argumento y dejamos de lado los angeles forma, el modo como se explica ese argumento, que es lo que -sostiene Eagleton- confiere a un texto su carácter literario, su naturaleza de creación retórica. Víctimas de esa lectura superficial, ¿cómo aprender a distinguir el grano de los angeles paja, cómo saber si un texto es bueno, malo o solo intrascendente?

En este guide de literatura para principiantes Eagleton enseña que l. a. clave está en conocer las herramientas básicas de l. a. crítica literaria, en fijarse en el tono, el ritmo, l. a. textura, l. a. sintaxis, las alusiones, los angeles ambigüedad y otros aspectos formales de las obras literarias. A partir de un amplio espectro de autores -desde Shakespeare y Jane Austen a Samuel Beckett y J.K. Rowling- examina los angeles narratividad, l. a. imaginación creativa, el significado de l. a. ficcionalidad y l. a. tensión entre lo que l. a. obra literaria cube y lo que muestra. En resumidas cuentas, ilustra, con frecuencia de manera hilarante, sobre las líneas básicas del oficio de crítico literario y contradice letra a letra el mito de que el análisis es enemigo del placer de l. a. lectura.

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Like his brother Hei nrich Mann , he was a student of the great French novel of disillusionment; the secret of his disguise was objectivity. Masks can be swi tched and the many-sided Mann had more than one. The one best known is that of the Hanseatic , the cool and reserved senator's son from Lubeck. The image of the citizen of the three Impe­ rial Free Cities is itself a cliche that fits few of the natives. It is one Mann promoted through detailed descriptions in Buddenbrooks, and he coolly presented it on public occasions.

My wish for crosswise pri nting was fulfilled on only some of the books I wrote; but when lengthwise printing prevailed 1 had nothi ng definitive to say against it. It is probably my own resist­ ance to thick volumes that is responsible . 28 NO TES TO LITERATURE III III Recently the place and date of publication have been omitted on the title page and merely noted shamefacedly in the copyright. Thi s is not the most harmless of the symptoms of the book's decline. Presumably it does not make it markedly more difficult to find books secondhand or in pub­ lic libraries.

Even the arterio­ sclerosis to which he succumbed left his spirit unaffected, as though it had no power over him. Ultimately, what caused his work to emphasize complicity with death, a complicity people were all too eager to believe of him personally, was an i ntimation of the guilt of existing at all, of depriving something different, something possible, of its own reality by taking its place; he did not need Schopenhauer to experience that. Al­ though he tried to outwit death , he still kept company with it, feeling that there is no reconciliation for the living but surrender-not resig­ nation .

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