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132Philosophy and Literature Méirsyas, the foolhardy mortal who challenges the god Apollo to a musical contest only to be flayed edive as the penalty for losing. The artist's painful struggle on the road to Truth parallels the moral struggle in quest of the Good. This theme, complementing the treatment of evil, finds Murdoch equally austere. Her Platonic Good is unreachable and absolute and in pursuit of it only "a fairly honourable defeat" can be hoped for, die fate ofthe Christ-like figure Tallis Browne in the novel of that tide. No wonder the novels provoke such unease. Dipple clearly shows that understanding diese works, beneath their dazzling surface, requires mastery of an abstract interpretive vocabulary: "fantasy," "demonism," "the good," "saintliness," "truth," "consolation," etc. But she rightly rejects as simplistic and "clichéd" the tag "philosophical novel." Philosophy is only one part of a rich edlusive frame which the novels invoke, including Greek myth, Christianity, Shakespeare, mysticism, and the visual arts. It would be difficult to find a better guide than Professor Dipple to these complex interlocking themes. It is a pleasure to recall die novels in her company. Admittedly, though, I write as one irresistibly compelled. University of Stirling, ScotlandPeter Lamarque The Literary Freud: Mechanisms ofDefense and the Poetic Will, edited by Joseph H. Smith, M.D.; xix & 390 pp. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1980, $30.00. This fourth volume in the Psychiatry and the Humanities series explores, in the words of editor Joseph H. Smith, "the preliminary imaginative grasp of both strong science and strong poetry" (p. xv). This unusually varied collection of twelve essays by psychiatrists emd litereiry critics offers Freudian and Lacanian interpretations of important authors as well as critical readings of Freud's works. The opening piece, Harold Bloom's "Freud's Concepts ofDefense and die Poetic Will," certainly the most provocative of the essays dealing widi Freud's writings as literary texts, reads Beyond the Pleasure Principle as a "post-Romantic crisis-lyric" (p. 11), in which Freud moves from scientific empiricism to mythological speculation by viewing biological drives as psychic defenses. Bloom convincingly demonstrates diat Freud ultimately created a concept of the deadi drive equivalent to literal meaning and of the pleasure principle equivalent to figurative meaning, so that, just as die poet uses figurative language to achieve immortality, he could find in Eros "die will's revenge against time's 'it was' ... to be carried out by the mind's drive to surpass all earlier achievements" (p. 27). John T. Irwin's "Figurations of the Writer's Death: Freud and Hart Creme" argues in the same vein that Freud's repressed allusions to Mach and Nietzsche in Beyond the Pleasure Principle, like Crane's repressed references to William Cullen Bryant and T. S. Eliot in "The Bridge," reveal die artist's attempts to protect his works from the accusation ofunoriginality and, uiereby, to survive physical death through the posthumous fame accorded to original writings. Meredith Anne Skura's "Revisions and Rereadings in Dreams and Allegories," a clearly-written and highly useful comparison of Freud's mediod of dream analysis and the literary critic's interpretation of allegory, suggests that dreams closely Reviews133 resemble allegory in the conflict they create between different layers ofmeaning. She concludes that dreams are related to allegories as metonomy is to metaphor and that, in fact, die true difference between dream and allegory resides in the allegory's sophistication. Susan Hawk Brisman and Leslie Brisman's "Lies Against Solitude: Symbolic, Imaginary and Real" sees both lyric poetry and Lacanian psychoanalysis as attempts to overcome alienation and achieve recognition from a responsive addressee. Applying Lacan's theories to the works of Coleridge, Wordsworth, and Blake, they conclude diat the artist's creation ofan ideal auditor is comparable to the role oftransference in psychoanalysis and acts as die primary source ofpower in poetic discourse. William Kerrigan's "The Articulation of the Ego in the English Renaissance" posits that the development of die Renaissance linguistic ego from Latin back to die vernacular exacdy parallels Lacan's model of normal ego development through the stade du miroir and diat die Renaissemce peculiarity of viewing the macrocosm in terms of the microcosm...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 132-133
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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