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BOOK REVIEWS Précis I Louise Kennelly University of North Carolina, Greensboro Recollections of Virginia Woolf by Her Contemporaries. Joan Russell Noble, ed. 1972; Athens: Ohio University Press, 1994. 207 pp. Paper $16.95 The contributors include T. S. Eliot, Clive Bell, Rose Macaulay, Elizabeth Bowen, E. M. Forster, Rebecca West, Christopher Isherwood, Stephen Spender and Vita Sackville-West. The twenty-seven Woolf contemporaries reveal the complexities of one of the century's greatest writers—an alternately witty, jealous, teasing, warm, malicious, generous woman. Roth, Marty. Foul and Fair Pfay: Reading Genre in Classic Detective Fiction. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1995. xv + 284 pp. $45.00 Roth covers the period from "prehistory" in detective fiction in Edgar Allen Poe, Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Robert Louis Stevenson, and H. G. Wells up to the 1960s, which marked the end, he says, of the classical period—"the end of an extremely conservative paradigm." The second section of his account deals with the epistemology of mystery and detective fiction and shows how it was shaped by other major intellectual developments of the late nineteenth century, such as psychoanalysis. Rubik, Margarete. The Novels of Mrs. Oliphant: A Subversive View of Traditional Themes. New York: Peter Lang, 1994. 343 pp. $54.95 Rubik argues for a reappraisal of Margaret Oliphant, presented here as an author who turned Victorian stereotypes of gender roles and family hierarchy upside down. Conventional attitudes also prevail in Oliphant's fiction, admits Rubik, but they create a dichotomy with the more unconventional attitudes in Oliphant's oeuvre. Scarry, Elaine, éd. Fins de Siècle: English Poetry in 1590, 1690, 1790, 1890, 1990. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995. xiii + 142 pp. Cloth $38.50 Paper $13.95 This collection of essays on English poetry and culture at successive turns of the century includes refreshing applications of historical insight to present and possible future developments. ELT readers will want to focus on Helen Vendler's "Fin-de-Siècle Lyric: W. B. Yeats and Jorie Graham." Scarry's intro573 ELT 38:4 1995 duction is entitled "Counting at Dusk (Why Poetry Matters When the Century Ends)." Schwartz, Nina. Dead Fathers: The Logic of Transference in Modern Narrative. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1994. χ + 200 pp. $34.50 Through readings of Heart of Darkness, The Wings of the Dove, The Sun Also Rises and A Room of One's Own, Schwartz analyzes representations of rebellion against social forces. Arguing that modernist narratives frequently recuperate precisely those forms of authority they wish to undermine, Schwartz attempts to show that their representations of rebellion follow this pattern as well, promoting the very social forces they critique since the oppressive forms of cultural authority are still the source of coherence in the text. The pattern is reproduced in the critical response to the books when readers repeat the structures, language, or concerns of the authors. It is the relation between reading and the desire for authority that Schwartz offers as an example of the psychological phenomenon of transference. Drawing on the work of Lacanian theorist Slavov Zizek to articulate a complex linkage of agency, authority and desire in writing, Schwartz examines how canonical modernist texts have functioned for readers as transferential objects and subjects that know and embody the truth of the modem. While much of the book seems dedicated to establishing the simple maxim that we are indeed limited by the times in which we live, it contains some fascinating accounts of the tendency to choose what is given which is something else altogether. Schwarz, Daniel R. The Transformation of the English Novel, 18901930 : Studies in Hardy, Conrad, Joyce, Lawrence, Forster and Woolf. 1989; New York: St. Martin's Press, 1995. χ + 336 pp. Paper $17.95 Divided into two major sections, the first shows how historical and contextual material is essential for developing powerful readings. The second section addresses transformation in the way we read and think about authors, readers, characters and form in light of recent theory, offering an alternative to the deconstructive and Marxist trends in literary studies. In his preface to the second edition, Schwarz says he has "made some corrections and added a number of crucial texts to the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 573-575
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
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