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126Philosophy and Literature the New Criticism with an ideology of the reactionary Southern Agrarianism sort, but that there is an inner affinity between these perspectives. Fekete thinks of the literary theory of New Criticism in terms of economic theory, charging it with an ideology of "the consumption of the art work" and of "reification" (p. 103). The latter feature, together with growing rationalization, determines, in Fekete's view, the tendency of modern literary theory to become "the theoretical face of capitalist transformation" (p. xvi). I think that this view is too simple: Ransom's term "Dinglichkeit," which refers to the object's ontological autonomy, cannot be identified with the idea of "reification." These and similar conclusions in other chapters do not really follow from Fekete's analyses, many of which are at least in part quite interesting and convincing. They result from an interpretation of cultural life as an expression of economic reality in a genuinely Marxist point of view. As the validity of this interpretation is not conclusively demonstrated, neither are the conclusions drawn from the analyses. They are thus open to doubts not only of a sceptical but also of a rationalist kind. It is only the details of the analyses and not the general tendency of Fekete's conclusions that make the book interesting. Fekete is right in presenting his work not as a scholarly historical analysis but as a "theoretical critique: an interrogation, a challenge, a polemic, a constitutive struggle" (p. xxv), as a "moment of revolutionary praxis" (p. xvi). As such it is interesting, but not at all provocative. The general tendenz, as well as the argument, is too well-known to arouse contemporary literary theorists. I conclude with some questions. Fekete may be right that modern literary theory "represents no real alternative in a world structured in the way that ours is" (p. xxi). But can it be expected to do this? Has it ever done this? Ought it to do this? Technische Hochschule, AachenRudolf Lüthe Nietzsche: Imagery and Thought, edited by Malcolm Pasley; 271 pp. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978, $18.50. On the dust cover of this collection of essays we are told that it "meets a long-felt need for a study in English of both the philosophical and literary aspects of Nietzsche's work." This is true. There is a need for such a book and now one—not really a bad one—has been written. Since most of the contributors do not seem to like Nietzsche or find him particularly interesting, this would seem to be the primary reason why the book has been written: culture, like nature, abhors a vacuum. Perhaps as a result of this, although it represents the work of eight scholars, it contains fewer fresh insights and much less excitement than Tracy Strong's one-man performance, Friedrich Nietzsche and the Politics of Transfiguration, which entered the world from the Shorter Reviews127 same publisher two years earlier. There are times when some of the contributions sound deceptively like attempts to debunk Nietzsche: we are told that he was an eclectic who mainly summarized current ideas (p. 221), that his use of language shows a lack of responsibility (p. 2 1 2) , that some of his "shrill" statements suggest that he was a phallus-worshipper suffering from "primitive castrationfear " (pp. 120-21), that his ideas are inconsistent (p. 33). However, such intellectual and psychological faults are seldom alleged and when they are, they are generally treated almost as if they were—at worst—mere lapses from good taste. Most of the contributors do not seem to find Nietzsche worth debunking. Among them, only T. J. Reed is clearly able to see him as a genuine threat to something good. At any rate, the topics covered by the various contributions are well chosen. They include Nietzsche's conception of truth (discussed in a sensible but unambitious essay by Mary Warnock), his conception of metaphor, and his tendency to conceal himself from his readers. After three papers on his use of various kinds of imagery, the book closes with an entertaining essay on Nietzsche's impact on British letters. The one contribution which is perhaps most...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 126-127
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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