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338Philosophy and Literature gathered, and no reader can fairly expect an editor to supply examples of all methods and approaches. But it is nevertheless dismaying to notice that all of Kramer's contributors are male, and that none of them even mentions feminist criticism and theory. Nor is there any treatment whatsoever of Michel Foucault. Kramer says in the first sentence of his introduction that he chose essays from the "areas of contemporary criticism and theory which seem of most value for today's student," but the obvious gaps make his claim sound quite peculiar. One could legitimately contend that feminism, with its integration of literary studies and politics, and Foucault's enterprise, with its historical breadth and theoretical sophistication, are precisely the "areas" that are "of most value," and that they ought definitely to be represented even if other "areas" have to be left out. Kramer himself professes a concern for "as wide a variety of background and approach as possible," and he warns us about die dangers of "our apparent cultural forgetfulness." And it is thus his own phrases that mark the shortcomings of the book he has edited. Wellesley CollegeWilliam E. Cain The Philosophy of the Novel: Lukács, Marxism and the Dialectics ofForm, byJ. M. Bernstein; xxi & 296 pp. Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, 1984, $35.00 cloth, $14.95 paper. György Lukács's The Theory ofthe Novel (written in 1914-15) ranks among his most seminal works. J. M. Bernstein is only one of the many critics who have felt compelled to write the "trudi" of Lukács's pre-Marxist text. By constructing a detailed philosophical argument around an initial, seemingly fortuitous insight , Bernstein posits a rather provocative thesis: "I claim that once the details of Lukács' theory become clear, it becomes evident diat in The Theory ofthe Novel we have the rudiments of a Marxist theory of the Novel" (p. x). He further claims that "the operative premises for Lukács' analysis of the novel are Marxist . . . 'operative' because clearly his stated premises are not" (p. xiii). From diis he concludes: "If the premises of his argument are Marxist, and his argument is valid, then his analysis itself must be Marxist." Bernstein's attempt at a philosophical reconstruction of Lukács's pre-Marxist The Theory ofthe Novel through his later Marxist theories is controversial but also rewarding. It frequently invites comparison with Lucien Goldmann's use of Lukács's work for his own Marxist purposes. Similarly to Bernstein, Goldmann had been inspired by Lukács's The Theory of the Novel and his later History and Reviews339 Class Consciousness. The two critics also share a strong, initially Kantian background which directed them onto the road to Marx. Bernstein, however, does not concede to any critical similarity and claims that Lukács's Theory of the Novel is not, as Goldmann saw it, a sociology, but rather a philosophy of the novel. Of the two, Bernstein's Marxism is less evident than Goldmann's, and so is his claim that Lukács's "historical specificity of the novel" has "rarely been appreciated " by other critics besides himself (p. xx). The greatest value of the present study derives from the critic's masterly use of Kantian theory in explicating Lukács. "The dialectic of the novel is die attempt to write the world as it is in terms of how it ought to be," which corresponds to the "Kantian worlds of freedom and causality, ought and is" (p. xviii) — notions diat are at the heart of Lukács's theory of the novel. Bernstein's treatment of the Kantian "transcendentality" of the world and the "fictionality" of the novel are illuminating. On the other hand, his criticism of Lukács's use of transcendental notions such as "ought" and "totality" are predictable and at times almost naive. Bernstein's interpretive struggle is due to his deliberate attempt to force Lukács's later Marxist notions onto his earlier pre-Marxist texts. Surprisingly, Bernstein resorts to Kantian theory to correct Lukács's "flaws." In doing so, Bernstein falls into the same kind of predicament he detected in Lukács, with the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 338-340
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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