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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 is fundamentally narcissistic . Several more traditional eirticles present Freudian analyses of individual artists. Morris Dickstein's "The Price of Experience: Blake's Reading of Freud" suggests that the eighteenth-century poet anticipated Freud's dieories by the importance he attributed to sexuality and childhood and by his understanding of repression. David J. Gordon's "Literature and Repression: Shavian Drama" hypothesizes diat Shaw's theater is a successive representation ofhis conflicting attitudes toward sexuality and die intellect, which, when repressed, resulted in structural defects in his plays. Geoffrey Hartman's excellent "Diction and Defense in Wordsworth" combines Freudian theory with an intertextual approach to demonstrate diat literary allusions in a poem of 1816 betray Wordsworth's anxieties about the power of the poetic imagination. A mere glance at their titles indicates die difficult nature of these essays; yet, for the reader already well-versed in psychoanalytical approaches to literature, they offer fresh insights into Freud's continued applicability to literature as well as into die literary nature of Freud's texts. Whitman CollegeMary Anne O'Neil Laurence Sterne and the Argument About Design, by Mark Loveridge; xi & 247 pp. Totowa, New Jersey: Barnes & Noble, 1982, $26.50. Any book on Sterne should approach its subject with caution since Sterne remains a figure whose presence is most meaningful because it is enigmatic. Realizing this, Loveridge emphasizes Sterne's expression of enigma dirough a study of the writer's mind and the concept of design, die aesthetics of form and proportion. He writes of the importance of the relationship between the novelist and the reader in creating design and form out of enigma: "... by establishing a complicated and ambiguous relationship with the audience, a novelist may implicitly provide a formal commentary . . ." (p. 9). Sterne employs ambiguity to increase die complexity of the relationship between die reader and die work: "By showing that the novels which its audience takes to be conventional, 134Philosophy and Literature representative works may well in fact be eccentric, it poses the question: Am I not myself, seeming eccentric, reedly a manifestation of true form? It is a playful, serious, rhetorical question . . ." (p. 13). He sees uiat die events in the novel ". . . have the same effect on the cheiracter within the novel as they do for die reader: they are a kind of epigrammatic metaphor for what theform of the novel is achieving" (p. 23). These activities might seem to be examples of the novel's groping. But Loveridge recognizes that this groping is only apparent; it is Sterne's way of remaining enigmatic. Just when we are comfortable widi seeing Dr. Slop, noses, and staircases from one viewpoint we are made to see that other viewpoints are as valid. This multiplicity of meaning is Sterne's design, the pattern of the novel with which we must finally come to live as we must come to live with it in our own lives. Surely such an ambiguous design is at the heart of literature and this critical study just as Sterne saw it at the heart ofhuman existence. But then, Tristram Shandy is a metaphysical work. Its apparent groping through time and timelessness, perception and confusion is an orchestration of a mind...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 133-134
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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