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ELT 37:2 1994 the history of the text so intelligibly as to enable a user to, in effect, construct her own independent critical text. That ideal is not attained in this edition. Another essential value of an edition, whether critical or variorum, is to allow its user to gain some degree of insight into the creation or the shaping, or both, of the arrangement of words that we call "literature" (which can of course include a beer advertisement: it's not an elitist concept). It allows us to conjecture what may have been going on in the author's mind during the attempt to turn inspiration—or dim concept —into a shareable verbal event, the re-perception by the reader of something that had been in the author's mind. Oftentimes an author doesn't know what she intends to "say" until she has worked through the options of words and structures and interlinkings. Only a small fraction of the choices and decisions that contribute to the final piece of writing are detectable in surviving evidence, of course, because only a few of the great mass of necessary choices are actually written down, and because foul drafts are burned and galleys thrown out. It is a boon to reading and interpretation to have as much remaining as Philmus has located and reported on in this edition. No one reading this book can think it was prepared by someone indifferent to the creative process. If it is not prepared according to conventional editing manuals, that may be a pity. But it doesn't mean that readers of Wells and students of creativity will not find this study of immense benefit and fascination. I hope, though, that if there is going to be a collected edition of Wells, the editors give some thought to the convenience to users of a more coherent arrangement of variants, descriptive lists of source texts, and other drab and mundane features. Dale Kramer University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Hardy and Literary Theory Roger Ebbatson. Hardy: The Margin of the Unexpressed. Sheffield, England: Sheffield Academic Press, 1993. 160 pp. Cloth $35.00 Paper $14.25 THE VARIOUS and to some degree conflicting aims of Roger Ebbatson's study are evident in his first sentences. He proposes to explore some of Hardy's writings "from the varied perspectives of recent literary theory," and to "focus upon ... a selection of Hardy's 'minor' texts, works which have been systematically marginalized by critical and educational conformity." Though his next sentence vaguely identi224 BOOK REVIEWS fies his antagonist, it does little to help the reader understand either his thesis or his approach: "In order to work towards some dislocation of the liberal-idealist tradition which has successfully reproduced Hardy as a kind of cultural monument, I have abandoned chronology, preferring to pursue my analysis from within two differing but complementary perspectives ." While, as he puts it, "I have not hesitated [to allow] poststructuralist theory to percolate through the chosen texts. ..." his real interest seems to be in what Virginia Woolf called "the margin of the unexpressed" in Hardy, or "this surplus of undecidability, this willingness of writer or reader to rest in uncertainty. . ." (7). His success in coordinating these multiple aims and interests seems to me marginal, at best. Part of problem with his approach is that "the margin of the unexpressed " has been widely recognized by Hardy critics for decades. It is true that he chooses to analyze works which have been, by and large, passed over by many of those same critics (Desperate Remedies, The Trumpet-Major, "Our Exploits at West Poley," "An Indiscretion in the Life of an Heiress," The Dorsetshire Labourer," "On the Western Circuit ," "An Imaginative Woman," and "Barbara of the House of Grebe"). It is also true that the post-structuralist percolation yields some stimulating insights. Yet the major limiting factor remains Ebbatson's vagueness about his thesis. As a result, the satisfactions the study provides are only occasional. It offers no sustained reappraisal of Hardy's art. His chapter on The Trumpet-Major, however, is good. The keynote of [this work]," he says, "is absence: Anne's dead father, Squire Derriman 's fortune...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 224-226
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Archived
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