Terry Eagleton's Literary Theory: An Introduction By Terry Eagleton

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In his book Literary Theory: An Introduction, Terry Eagleton addressed the problematic definition of literature as a term, concept and as a field of artistic expression. He started to problematize the definition of literature as an ‘imaginative’ form of writing- a definition that directly relates to fiction. However, this definition fails to encapsulate other forms of writing that acclaim a sense of ‘factual’ recording, presentation, and delivery of an author’s intention in his writings. Such texts include essays written by famous scientist like Francis Bacon, autobiographies, memoirs, scholastic and scientific publications. Moreover, Eagleton acknowledged that the distinction between ‘fact’ and ‘fiction’ in literature is often questionable. Furthermore, he interrogated the various definitive distinctions and classifications of literature and the problematic aspects of literary texts in terms of readership, language usage or structural arrangement as in poetry and in prose. Eventually, he recognized that ‘literature is a special kind of language.” To him, the language employed in literature deviates from the ordinary use of language or standardized use of language. This deviation produces a ‘defamiliarizing effect’ to the readers which often results to a ‘different’ view or ‘look’ on how ideas are expressed and communicated. Often times, the use of literary devices, nonconventional use of grammar and structure of language often contributes to defamiliarization. But
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