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Reviews261 at the circumstances that favor the formation of classes, that make possible domination and exploitation — those circumstances that in some way block the mediating effect of the Symbolic order" (p. 136). While it seems a rather poor choice of words to talk of a "morality of the Symbolic" (p. 137), Racevskis finds Foucault's achievements at their most positive in his "desire to make manifest the unlimited human potential for creating meaning" (p. 138). Consequently, he avoids "the pretentiousness of any attempt at encapsulating his thought" (p. 15). Racevskis's discourse affects modesty. When he discusses critical reactions to Foucault's work, he values them in similar terms: "To put it simply, the discourse of Foucault is devoid of the pretentiousness of Baudrillard's critique" (p. 163). Yet, this is not an accurate representation of Foucault's extremely rich prose. This prose is furthermore presented in a virtual historical vacuum. To find Foucault's discourse "positive" and "liberating," a more systematic exploration is needed of Foucault's debt, debates with the Annales school, Althusser, and Derrida, and of shifts in Lacan's own discourse. Without succumbing to any biographical fallacy, which Racevskis rightly strives to avoid, Foucault's own intellectual strategy requires more attention to the circumstances which made his project possible. University of Maine at OronoDona M. Kercher Cervantes and the Mystery ofLawlessness: A Study of "El casamiento engañosoy El coloquio de los perros, "by Alan K. Forcione; 243 pp. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984, $35.00. With Cervantes and the Mystery of Lawlessness, Professor Forcione adds another important study to his three previous books on Cervantes and the Novelas ejemplares. As the full title of his book suggests, Forcione's intent is to analyze lawlessness as it permeates the two elusive tales that close the Novelas. What he does is, in fact, far more wide ranging. In the first chapter Forcione analyzes the techniques that Cervantes employs both to create an overwhelming vision of universal disorder and to give this vision coherence. Cervantes, Forcione writes, provides "a grammar of narrative disorder" (p. 72) achieved through a hybridization of various genres. This mixture is rendered even more complex by the superimposition of at least two narrative planes, and through seemingly irrelevant and lengthy digressions, dislocation of narrative movement, the dismemberment of coherent form, and "promises" of upcoming resolutions that result in recurrent vanishing climaxes. The second chapter probes the pivotal episode in the Coloquio, the depiction of Cañizares and the mysterious world of witches which offers "an epiphanic vision 262Philosophy and Literature of evil" (p. 61). Forcione discusses at length Cervantes's exploration of evil against the background of the orthodox Christian vision of the forces of darkness. The final chapter in the first part is devoted to demonstrating that the seemingly aimless sequence of unraveling narrative indeed has a pattern and that "to a great extent the coherence of the work lies in its pervasive amplification of its central discontinuities, in its very incoherence" (p. 101). Forcione builds upon the works of other Cervantistas (Belie, Molho, El Saffar) who have already established that El coloquio de los perros is far more coherent than previously recognized. Forcione argues that what binds the narrative together, besides a pervasive atmosphere of lawlessness and evil, is a cumulative and unsettling effect of destructiveness and disintegration which is created by a constant movement from order to disorder. There are, furthermore, reiterated visions of disease, physical infirmity, decrepitude, and death. Building upon the central image of the octopus, Cervantes depicts man everywhere as enslaved by his bestial nature. Profanations of the sacred pervade the entire work and reach their apogee during the "Cañizares orgiastic banquet at the witches' sabbath [which] takes the shape of a communion of demons and a desecration of the Lord's Supper " (p. 117). Part Two ("The Awakening at the End of the Night") examines "the positive counterweights which Coloquio does develop and which indicate that even in his darkest work Cervantes does not abandon the faith that his epic heroine Auristela affirms" (p. 134). "The awakening and the promise of a new life" (p. 127) that Forcione discovers is reduced to three events. He interprets...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 261-263
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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