Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
John McAuliffeBill Manhire in Conversation with John McAuliffe
(PN Review 259)
Patricia CraigVal Warner: A Reminiscence
(PN Review 259)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Tim Parksin conversation with Natalia Ginzburg
(PN Review 49)
Next Issue Gwyneth Lewis ‘Spiderings’ Ian Thomson ‘Fires were started: Tallinn, 1944’ Adrian May ‘Traditionalism and Tradition’ Judith Herzberg ‘Poems’ translated by Margitt Helbert Horatio Morpurgo ‘What is a Book?’
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Reader Survey
PN Review Substack

This article is taken from PN Review 8, Volume 5 Number 4, July - September 1979.

Twilight Ideology David Levy

John Fekete, The Critical Twilight: Explorations in the Ideology of Anglo-American Literary Theory from Eliot to McCluhan, Routledge and Kegan Paul, £7.95.

JOHN FEKETE, we are informed by the jacket of this attractively produced volume, "was formed culturally and politically in the new enlightenment of the 1960s". Thus, euphemistically, we are introduced to a talented student of Raymond Williams who is also, in every essential of his world view, a disciple of Herbert Marcuse. Be warned then: The Critical Twilight is not a book to be read for its literary style or its wisdom. It is burdened with the jargon familiar from the writings of disciples of Lucacs and the Frankfurt School, and its judgements are made in the perspective of a fantasy sociology of a utopian future now said to be within our grasp. I shall say no more about the jargon. After all, every school of thought develops its own technical vocabulary and if that of the Marcuseans is denser than most, it is not entirely impenetrable to the outsiders, especially when it is used by one, like Dr Fekete, who has thought its terms through for himself and can produce illuminating examples of what he means from his material. But as for the sociological fantasy, that is something to which I must return for its examination is imposed on the reviewer by the whole tenor of the book's argument. Toward the end, Fekete remarks, "I have been shaping (totalizing) the material from the standpoint ...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image