The Politics of Style
This book develops a Marxist theory of literary style. The first part explains why Raymond Williams, Terry Eagleton and Fredric Jameson came to see style as central to political criticism. It delineates the historical and conceptual preconditions for the emergence of a ‘politics of style’, and uncovers an underground current of stylistics within the Marxist tradition from Marx to Barthes. The second part sets out precisely what each thinker has written on style and demonstrates how this came to figure in their overall intellectual and political projects, focusing above all on a detailed reconstruction of Williams’s best-known concept, the ‘structure of feeling’. Finally, the third part sets out an independent theory of style and makes an ambitious attempt to establish it as a foundational element of a new Marxist poetics.