His politics apparent
In some previous dark age, 1983 I think, Terry Eagleton wrote Literary Theory: An Introduction. The blurb on his contemporary sequel After Theory says that his previous acclaimed book "established him as one of the leading cultural theorists of the Left." The Left. I am thinking about this as I read After Theory. He writes about workers rights and Marx but just as theories, not as enthusiasms. Did the blurb mean he was left-wing, or did it mean he theorised about left wing things? There's a difference, but I imagine one leads to the other.
But it is clear to me now, on p143, that he is left wing. I'm sure I've missed previous obvious clues, but it is only with his discussion of Palestinian oppression, of exploitation of other Arabs, and of their subsequent labelling as "evil" that I realised this: I would be certain he hates Bush, I would be certain he opposed the Iraq invasion. I realised this of course because these are topics that are clear to me because I have observed the political actions, the debates, and the news coverage of these bombings, arrests, killings, and wailing women.
And this leads me to something else: so much cultural theory seems abstract and dated but will I find that the cultural theory of my time and my place is clearer to me than that of the 60s and 70s? Am I getting it because I have an anchor to the material? I suddenly want to read the stuff itself, not this meta-cultural theory, no matter how interesting it is. Only 80 pages left.