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Reviews127 titude to his diaries and concludes that recording the trivia of real life gave the writer a sense of himself as a "real person." Three essays deal with Freud, and will be welcomed by those scholars alarmed at the status of the new priesthood in art and literature. Citing well-known examples from Mann to show the relevance of psychology in characterization, Heller then pinpoints the psychoanalyst's dilemma ("the vast superiority of presumed diagnostic insights over therapeutic possibilities" as he delightfully puts it, p. 183) and the dangers to art of the over-intimate connection with psychology. The perils of inept and inappropriate psychoanalytical studies are then brilliandy exposed in "The dismantling of a marionette theatre," which annihilates a particularly unfortunate, but, Heller stresses, all too typical example, an attempt to discover in Kleist's essay "On the puppet theatre" evidence of the author's sexual dysfunction. "Man ashamed" is a less direct answer to Freud's disciples: a wide-ranging survey ofthe concept of shame in literature leads to the conclusion that to remove shame, sexual or otherwise, from man's makeup would be to diminish or even negate his humanness. "The poet in the age of prose" (the essay from which the title and the common thread of the collection are derived), is less generalized than one might expect; the Angel of Rilke's Duino Elegies is interpreted as the return to inwardness prophesied by Hegel for postclassical art. "The broken tradition" is Heller's analysis of some of the problems besetting art and language in the modern world, and "Nietzsche's last words about art and truth" attempts to explain some of the apparent inconsistencies in Nietzsche's views on art, particularly naturalist literature. Possibly the best example of Heller's scholarship is "Thinking about poetry, Hölderlin and Heidegger." Drawing on his knowledge of philosopher and poet, and on a crowded, chaotic page of Hölderlin's manuscript, Heller produces an interpretation of a poem he calls "one of the greatest ever written in the German language" (p. 71), and the interpretation itself is a tribute as much to the interpreter's love of the Word as it is to the poet's. University of Canterbury, New ZealandRodney Fisher Beyond Fiction: The Recovery ofthe Feminine in the Novels of Cervantes, by Ruth El Saffar; xv & 218 pp. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984, $19.00. Part of the charm of Ruth El Saffar's work is its graceful self-awareness. Always conscious of the evolution in her own thought, she flatters the listener or reader by engaging us in her effort to separate subjective impression from objective observation. In Beyond Fiction, she becomes text, receptor, and avatar of Stanley Fish, asking, "Is there a text in this woman?" (p. xi). The approach here 128Philosophy and Literature is so personal and hermetic that it threatens to exclude or at least alienate anyone not sympathetic to Jungian idiom and feminist criticism's quest to redress scholarship's perceived past neglect of the female character. El Saffar believes that the basic structure distinguishing Cervantes's long novels is the quaternity: Girard's triangle of desire (two men competing for one attractive woman) is completed by the fourth character, the undesired or ugly female. The author finds Cervantes's fiction unique in its age for resolving conflicts between male rivals by having one of them accept the extra woman. Considering the works chronologically, she performs a valuable service for the less patient reader by detecting an internal order in the early pastoral novel La Galatea, which might otherwise seem a most tedious and chaotic narrative. The worth of this geometric critical operation for Don Quixote is more problematic . At times, the fourth character is obvious; Dorotea in Part I, for example. At others, El Saffar must read quite subtly: the Grisóstomo-Marcela-Ambrosio quaternity is completed by Maritornes (p. 67); Anselmo-Camila-Lotario by Leonela (p. 73); Eugenio-Leandra-Vincente by the she-goat (p. 67). In any event, this craving to recover the feminine, to which Cervantes becomes more attuned as he matures as a writer, is according to El Saffar most thoroughly fulfilled in die Persiles...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 127-129
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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