I'm not sure what Terry Eagleton's point was here. He seems to suggest that there are no British novelists who consider it their sole purpose to oppose Tony Blair. Or perhaps he's mourning for some imagined past in which a shelf of fictions shook Margaret Thatcher to her steely core.
But his contention that, "for almost the first time in two centuries, there is no eminent British poet, playwright or novelist prepared to question the foundations of the western way of life," comes off as both dismissive and beside the point. I would never read a novelist solely to see if their political maxims matched my own. That's what newspapers and blogs are for. Novels are larger canvasses and surely Mr. Eagleton knows that.
Further, his exception for Harold Pinter,
"who has wisely decided that being a champagne socialist is better than being no socialist at all; but his most explicitly political work is also his most artistically dreary,"
does Eagleton no favours insofar as a politically "pure" novel, if such a thing exists, doesn't mean it's any damn good.
That doesn't mean I'm not ravenously looking forward to the new Jonathan Coe. (via Bookslut)
A bit of a lefty perhaps, and one of my favourite writers.
Posted by David