© 2003

Imagining the Real

Essays on Politics, Ideology and Literature


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Robert Grant
    Pages 1-24
  3. Robert Grant
    Pages 25-36
  4. Robert Grant
    Pages 37-53
  5. Robert Grant
    Pages 54-65
  6. Robert Grant
    Pages 66-87
  7. Robert Grant
    Pages 88-102
  8. Robert Grant
    Pages 103-122
  9. Robert Grant
    Pages 123-136
  10. Robert Grant
    Pages 137-161
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 188-248

About this book


Throughout its ten related essays, Imagining the Real contrasts our abstract imaginings about the human world with the imaginative insights provided by art and experience. It questions, variously, the relevance of game theory and sociobiology to politics; the supposed intrinsic values of liberal freedom, cultural change, and democratic action; and the claims of Marxism, deconstruction and 'Theory' generally to be non-ideological. More positively, it reinterprets fiction as a specific invitation to imagine, and celebrates Shakespeare, L.H. Myers and Beckett as truly critical, because truly imaginative, exponents of ideas.


art Beckett construction English literature essay experience fiction ideology interpret liberty Marx Marxism morality trust William Shakespeare

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of GlasgowUK

About the authors

ROBERT GRANT is Reader in English Literature at Glasgow University. A frequent contributor to the Times Literary Supplement, he is the author of two previous books, Oakeshott and The Politics of Sex and Other Essays, and of over 100 essays, articles and reviews. He has lectured widely in the USA, Eastern Europe and Japan, and is currently writing Michael Oakeshott's 'official' biography.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Imagining the Real
  • Book Subtitle Essays on Politics, Ideology and Literature
  • Authors R. Grant
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2003
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
  • eBook Packages Palgrave Religion & Philosophy Collection Philosophy and Religion (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-0-333-97371-4
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-349-42978-3
  • eBook ISBN 978-0-230-59930-7
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XVI, 248
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Social Philosophy
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


'The cumulative effect of the new collection [of essays, is] of outstanding brilliance, insight, trenchancy and faithful answerability to the argument in hand.' - David Wiggins, New College, Oxford

'Imagining the Real...covers a wide range of topics (from honesty to Derrida, from The Tempest to game theory), but with a consistent purpose: to explore the ways in which culture is the bearer and guarantor of human values, and to expose the errors of those who think otherwise.' - Noel Malcolm, The New Criterion