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122Philosophy and Literature finally, we must be able to distinguish between those activities which are part of a game and those which are part of a form of life. Sutherland holds that by tracing out the life of Zossima we can see how Dostoyevsky modified the concept of miracle, but he concedes that if the pattern! of living we are shown is so circumscribed as to have no application outside a monastery then, according to the criteria just stipulated, Zossima cannot be said to exemplify a form of life at all. Sutherland also agrees with Bakhtin that Dostoyevsky "could not accept any single metaphysical picture with its consequent ideology, and that this is what dominated the structure of the novels" (p. 138). For Sutherland, emotions can be "constituent parts" of belief, not merely "associates or correlations of beliefs" (p. 140). It would seem to be an essential tenet of the view to which he is committed, however, that emotions are characterized by their objects and beliefs as much as by their behavioral features; and it is the complex beliefs of the characters that Sutherland, like the commentators he castigates, seeks to spell out. At one point Sutherland refers to the narrator (p. 118), and although he denies an identity of views between Zossima and Dostoyevsky, the book as a whole is presented as a study of Dostoyevsky's reply, through the novel, to one form of atheism (p. vii). Several problems arise here which are neither discussed nor acknowledged. In the end, one must judge the book to be a disappointment. It is quite extraordinarily labored in its presentation, and the whole could have been condensed, with profit, into a single, sharply focused article. Students of philosophy need little reminder of standard, current views on emotion, and students of Dostoyevsky may well retort that one cannot be subtle in one's interpretation by merely claiming to be. Many writers are now trying "to show how philosophy and literature have much to contribute to one another" (p. 2), but, sadly, the present book is too loose, too long, and too late. University of EdinburghPeter Jones Phenomenology and Literature, by Robert R. Magliola; xi & 208 pp. West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue University Press, 1977, $10.95. What is phenomenological about phenomenological criticism? Before I read Magliola's book, I would have been tempted to answer: wholesale borrowing and strained application of a technical vocabulary from a heterogeneous group of philosophers—Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty—loosely associated under the heading "phenomenology." My limited exposure to this genre had all but convinced me that the critics had not done their philosophical homework, had appropriated the esoteric language of phenomenology without understanding it, had remained blissfully unaware of important differences between the thinkersjust mentioned, and had indulged themselves in enthusiastic Shorter Reviews123 play with such phrases as "the ontological infrastructure" of author X or "the prereflectively attuned Being-in-the-world" of author Y. Such a characterization cannot be applied to this new book. Magliola has done his homework. His philosophical grounding is sound and his training in criticism is apparent. He is an expert and he writes with an insider's understanding of both phenomenology and literature. He has dared to define "phenomenological criticism": "I call 'phenomenological' any literary theory or practice which is broadly in the neo-realist Husserlian tradition ... as long as the theory or practice adheres to the following two provisions. First, it must incorporate somehow an epistemology of mutual implication, and second, it must 'see' the essence of Being and/or beings concretely, and in experience" (p. 63). The "epistemology of mutual implication" turns out to be one in which the complicity/interrelation of subject and object ("self and outside") of experience is a necessary basic premise. The concrete "seeing" requires the critic to refrain from abstract labelling but rather attend closely to "the verbal texture." On this latter point Magliola applauds the Geneva School for interlarding "commentary with passages quoted directly from the literary work . . . so that the poetic sensibility of critic and reader luxuriate in the form and language of the original text" (p. 63). Some would challenge this definition. (Describing the Husserlian tradition as neo-realist, for instance...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 122-124
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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