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418Philosophy and Literature "allusion and a commonplace" and assume "that an aUusion necessarily brings in its train die whole context of die original" (p. 13). (In the Renaissance it seldom did.) Although he tends to agree widi die intertextualists diat "imitation naturally encouraged the critic to set a passage of poetry against its source for careful comparison" (p. 18), in the end "diere is no magic key to MUton's practice" (p. 20). The author will, nonetheless, offer Dryden's term, "metaphrase ," to describe Milton's particular act of translation in which he "seeks to reproduce as much as possible of the word order and syntactic movement of die original" (p. 45). Here MUton senses "the radical differences between Latin and English verse . . . and . . . the value of not seeking to accommodate diem in bland syntiiesis" (p. 47). Once againjudgment and common sense confront die metaphors of theory and emerge the victor. Martindale's format excludes two relevant hexameter texts: Hesiod's T^gony and Apollonius ofRhodes'Argonautica. Hesiod is important in MUton's reception of the Greeks; Apollonius, in Virgil's and Lucan's. But this is a very small criticism of a book that so easily dears the air of irrelevant theory for anyone who reads it. Durham, North CarolinaRaymond Adolph Prier The Thinking Muse: Feminism and Modern French Phüosophy , edited byJeffner Allen and Iris Marion Young; 215 pp. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1989, $32.50 dodi, $11.95 paper. Largely due to the influence of French thinkers such as Derrida, Lacan, and Foucault, contemporary literary criticism has become more conscious of its theoretical and phUosophical roots. Accordingly, the essays in TL· ThinkingMuse offer a feminist engagement with modernist French phUosophical tradition. The eleven contributors include JoAnn Pilardi and Eleanor Kuykendall on Beauvoir, Iris Marion Youngon the phenomenology ofthe female body,Jeffner AUen on existentialism qua Camus, Juditii Butler on Merleau-Ponty, Julien S. Murphy on Sartre and Adrienne Rich, Linda Kintz on deconstruction, Linda Singer on Cixous and Foucault, Domna C. Stanton on Cixous, Irigaray, and Kristeva, KuykendaU on Kristeva, and Namascar Shaktini on Monique Wittig. While a number of the essays provide the expected feminist criticisms of "modernist masters" and, as weU, the expected approval of feminist responses Reviews419 to diose "masters," a few of die offerings pose some very serious critiques of French existential phenomenology and poststructuralism, including the poststructural and existential work of some of die French feminists. As American feminist phUosophers, die contributors offer some refreshingly new insights into some tried and "true" phUosophical texts and more recent works ofliterary theory. Radier than tacitly accepting the work of the French feminist semioticians, Stanton critiques the celebration of female difference as part of a divisively phaUocentric teleology. Her close reading of various texts by Cixous, Irigaray, and Kristevaleads herto question dieextended metaphor (woman as/is modier), seeing diat privileged construct as a manifestation of the problematics of difference itself. KuykendaU's critique of Kristeva goes even further—noting that herethics oflinguistics is not feminist, but rather Freudian, and does not provide for female agency. This serious challenge to the work of Kristeva notes that her valorization of the feminine, in fact, places woman outside the bounds of ediics and rationality. Singer finds Cixous's work more liberating in her articulation of her female power and authority via a conspicuous transgression of traditional academic discourse. Shaktini follows in this vein as she offers a close reading of Wittig's lesbian writing. Wittig displaces the phallic subject with the lesbian subject—hence relocating subjectivity completely outside the bounds of a phaUogocentric order. Buder's stimulating "Sexual Ideology and Phenomenological Description" critiques Merleau-Ponty's theory of sexuality as being deceptively open in that he assumes a traditionally normative heterosexual model thatsees man as subject and woman as object. Merleau-Ponty's theoretic faUs to acknowledge the lived historicity of the differentiation between men's and women's lives. This difference is the focus ofMurphy's phenomenological reading ofAdrienne Rich's poems. AUen focuses on Camus's primary works to note how the existential being is male with women portrayed as impediments to the existential progress of man. Through an analysis of existentialism's interpretation of essence...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 418-420
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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