Words matter. These are the best Terry Eagleton Quotes, and they’re great for sharing with your friends.
I attacked Dawkins’s book on God because I think he is theologically illiterate.
Universities are no longer educational in any sense of the word that Rousseau would have recognised. Instead, they have become unabashed instruments of capital. Confronted with this squalid betrayal, one imagines he would have felt sick and oppressed.
What’s wrong with a bit of nostalgia between friends? I think nostalgia sometimes gets too much of a bad press.
The political currents that topped the global agenda in the late 20th century – revolutionary nationalism, feminism and ethnic struggle – place culture at their heart.
For Aristotle, goodness is a kind of prospering in the precarious affair of being human.
Nations sometimes flourish by denying the crimes that brought them into being. Only when the original invasion, occupation, extermination or usurpation has been safely thrust into the political unconscious can sovereignty feel secure.
People do evil things because they are evil. Some people are evil in the way that some things are coloured indigo. They commit their evil deeds not to achieve some goal, but just because of the sort of people they are.
Evil is often supposed to be without rhyme or reason.
The role of the intellectual, so it is said, is to speak truth to power. Noam Chomsky has dismissed this pious tag on two grounds. For one thing, power knows the truth already; it is just busy trying to conceal it. For another, it is not those in power who need the truth, but those they oppress.
I value my Catholic background very much. It taught me not to be afraid of rigorous thought, for one thing.
I liked early Amis a lot, but I stopped reading him some time ago. I admire Hitchens on literary topics – I think he is very astute. McEwan, I read a bit. But I suppose it’s more the ideological phenomenon that they represent together that interests me.
In the end, it is because the media are driven by the power and wealth of private individuals that they turn private lives into public spectacles. If every private life is now potentially public property, it is because private property has undermined public responsibility.
In the end, the humanities can only be defended by stressing how indispensable they are; and this means insisting on their vital role in the whole business of academic learning, rather than protesting that, like some poor relation, they don’t cost much to be housed.
From the viewpoint of political power, culture is absolutely vital. So vital, indeed, that power cannot operate without it. It is culture, in the sense of the everyday habits and beliefs of a people, which beds power down, makes it appear natural and inevitable, turns it into spontaneous reflex and response.
Most students of literature can pick apart a metaphor or spot an ethnic stereotype, but not many of them can say things like: ‘The poem’s sardonic tone is curiously at odds with its plodding syntax.’
God chose what is weakest in the world to shame the strong.
Irish fiction is full of secrets, guilty pasts, divided identities. It is no wonder that there is such a rich tradition of Gothic writing in a nation so haunted by history.
There is an insuperable problem about introducing immigrants to British values. There are no British values. Nor are there any Serbian or Peruvian values. No nation has a monopoly on fairness and decency, justice and humanity.
Deconstruction insists not that truth is illusory but that it is institutional.
Anyone can be tolerant of those who are tolerant.
Most poetry in the modern age has retreated to the private sphere, turning its back on the political realm.
Language, identity and forms of life are the terms in which political demands are shaped and voiced.
There is no way in which we can retrospectively erase the Treaty of Vienna or the Great Irish Famine. It is a peculiar feature of human actions that, once performed, they can never be recuperated. What is true of the past will always be true of it.
Dawkins considers that all faith is blind faith, and that Christian and Muslim children are brought up to believe unquestioningly. Not even the dim-witted clerics who knocked me about at grammar school thought that.
Today, nostalgia is almost as unacceptable as racism.