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442Philosophy and Literature inevitabUity of bad faith are rejected by distinguishing two kinds of alienation, onlyone ofwhich is unavoidable. Third, questions concerningSartre's relativism and the ultimate futility ofactions are answered by appeal to die notion ofplay, the adoption of a nonserious, nonpossessive attitude. Fourth, Sartre's revolutionary condemnation of certain social structures is squared widi his daims about die inevitabUity of social alienation by a recognition that some sorts of avoidable alienation may be overcome by revolution. Finally, the possibUity of authentic relationships widi odiers is affirmed and instances of a serious alternative to sequestration and individualism are located in Sartre's work and in his life. BeU's attempt to present an adequate Sartrean ethics of autiienticity makes Uluminating use of the entire corpus of Sartre's writings, induding his literary works as well as his more conventionally phUosophical texts, and she is particularly good at resolving interpretive difficulties by juxtaposing writings not usuaUy connected togedier. She exhibits an impressive famUiarity with the bulky Sartrean canon, as well as with the large secondary literature on Sartre. AU this, together with the carefully focused scope of her project, makes the book a very useful contribution to the exegetical literature on Sartre. It is, however, very much a work in the commentarial genre, notwithstanding some welcome attempts to connect various of the issues treated with themes of other writers (including Hume, Kant, Hegel, Marx, and Hare). There is no real attempt to take the argument beyond what Sartre might have said and the exegesis, though lucid and thorough, is not philosophically suggestive in the way that, say, Danto's litde book on Sartre is. But within its self-imposed limits this is a meticulous and creditable piece of philosophical scholarship. Massey University, New ZealandRoy W. Perrett StructuralismandtL·LogicofDissent, by EveTavorBannet; 229 pp. Champaign: University of IUinois Press, 1989, $14.95. Eve Tavor Bannet's Structuralism and tL· Logic of Dissent focuses on four influential French thinkers,Jacques Lacan, Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, and Jacques Derrida. Her thesis is that all ofthese figures chiefly address the question of alienation. "If the blanket term, alienation, has come to seem rather oldfashioned to us today, it is in no smaU measure due to the efforts made by Lacan, Bardies, Foucault, and Derrida to redefine it and to deal widi it in smaller and more manageable sections." Moreover, Bannet thinks that such figures "have sought beyond the automatism of culture and the darkness of negation to find the thin small-wedge from which itis stiU honestand honourable Reviews443 to speak" (pp. 2, 3). Hence Lacan, Barthes, Foucault, and Derrida are brought back within the fold ofliberal humanism. In flagrant disregard of the positions staked out by Lacan et al., Bannet states, "It would be impossible to write this or any other book if God and the self were really dead; if the audior were really absent from his work; iflanguage were nothing but an aUen circuit which each of us is condemned to repeat . . ." (p. 1). Evidently, Bannet's readings are conditioned by a phUosophical outlook running counter to the audiors she reads. She cannot take seriously that French intellectuals actually mean what diey write. Rather, she believes they are only talking about the death of God and the author in order to get our goat. She is very much under the impression diat their writings are a type of negative theology intended to alert us to "affirmations of [the] desire for being, individuality, and truth" (p. 1). The individual chapters on Lacan, Barthes, Foucault, and Derrida consist of dearly written basic summaries. But they do not make original contributions to the elucidation of these figures. Much of her summarizing is compUed from other people's commentaries. For example, the footnote apparatus shows that when Bannet discusses Lacan in relation to May 1968 she recycles but does not add anything to summaries made by commentators like Sherry Turkic Troublesome to me is her summary of Lacan's Poe seminar which has benefited, directly or indirectly, from the analyses ofJeffrey Mehlman, Shoshana Felman, and perhaps others. Yet, these analyses are not acknowledged or, what is more important to me, developed or challenged. This practice results...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 442-444
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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