Terry Eagleton is professor of cultural theory at the University of Manchester, Britain. His forthcoming book, The Meaning of Life (Oxford), will be published in March.
As one of those pathetic evolutionary throwbacks who has never used e-mail or the Internet, and has hardly ever handled a mobile phone, I can approach this book with all the supreme disinterested
Humanism, like democracy, is a word that labors under an excess of
meaning. It can mean acknowledging the value of human beings, or denying
the existence of God.
The name Shakespeare in Britain is rather like the names Ford, Disney and Rockefeller in the United States. He is less an individual than an institution, less an artist than an apparatus.
Most biographies of literary figures are a wonderful substitute for
actually having to read the work.
Interesting Times is a curiously feeble title for an autobiography, rather as if Noam Chomsky were to write an article called "Could America Do Better?" It carries, of course, the sting