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184Philosophy and Literature with "broad" linguists such as Sapir and Benveniste (p. 198). Would that there was more of a Jakobsonian sect today! University of Canterbury, New ZealandAndrew Carstairs Time and Narrative, Volume II, by Paul Ricoeur; translated by Kathleen McLaughlin and David Pellauer; 208 pp. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985, $22.50. The present volume fully exemplifies Ricoeur's wide knowledge of recent major theorists of literature, his generosity in disagreement, and his painstaking consideration of possible objections and ramifications. Despite, perhaps indeed partly because of, these virtues, Volume II of Time and Narrative disappoints : it does not break new, interesting ground. Ricoeur clearly, if over-neatly, announces what he intends: to broaden, deepen, enrich, and open up "the notion of emplotment" (pp. 3-4). His own concept of narrative "emplotment," already developed in Volume I, is traditional enough: satisfying emplotment produces a "concordant discordance" or "temporal synthesis of the heterogeneous" (pp. 4, 158). By way of "broadening ," Ricoeur argues that Aristotle's "imitation of an action" can be extended to the imitation of consciousness. By "deepening" our understanding of emplotment, Ricoeur means leading us to see that those who insist on a "deep" underlying structure of narrative, on a "narrative semiotics," fail to recognize that their arguments depend on the temporal structure of the specific plot, that the great source of interest in narrative derives from the richness and unpredictability of the surface "manifestation " of the deep structures, and that our understanding of "plot" must be explained at least partially in terms of tradition. The logics of Propp's "sequence of actions," Bremond's "organization of roles," and Greimas's structure of "actants" are praised, closely analyzed, and found wanting: "a logic of possible narrative units is still only a logic of action" (p. 43). The chapter devoted to "enrichment" is built around the difference between "utterance" and "statement," the first the activity of the narrator, the second that of fictional characters. Ricoeur's point of entry into this question is, somewhat curiously, through the work on fictional tenses by Käte Hamburger and Harald Weinrich, both of whom argue that tenses operate quite differently in fiction than in other discourse. He then considers aspects of theories of Günther Müller, Gérard Genette, Franz Stanzel, Boris Uspensky, and Mikhail Bakhtin. The conclusion of this discursive tour is that tense in Reviews185 fiction cannot be wholly dissociated from the temporality of ordinary experience . The way in which a fictional work is able to "open onto a world, like a 'window' that cuts out a fleeting perspective of a landscape beyond" (p. 100) is the argument of the long fourth chapter. Here, Ricoeur presents his argument through analyses of Woolfs Mrs. DaUoway, Mann's Der Zauberberg, and Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu. The (quite different) experiences of time in these novels are offered as paradigms of fictive experience generally, "a virtual manner of living in the world projected by the literary work as a result of its capacity for self-transcendence" (p. 159). For all its passages of cogent insight, the structure of the book does not appear adequate to the issues it addresses. Though one knows it is a continental habit, to approach each major question through criticism of the (often tangential) work of others is wearying and finally irritating. Why use the insufficiency of certain theories about fictional tenses as scaffolding for arguing the very central question of the relation of fictionality to the world of lived experience? Though one knows that linguists, grammarians, and discourse analysts often seem overly preoccupied with the intriguing example, to eschew examples through the first three chapters not only taxes readers' tolerance but leaves the meaning of certain key terms in doubt. What precisely is the "traditionality " of narrative that semiotics cannot ignore or the "configuration" that produces "concordant discordance"? The third volume of Time and Narrative will treat "the power of narrative, taken in its indivisible wholeness, to refigure time" (p. vii), and in doing so, apparently, examine the process of the reader's "refiguration" which complements authorial "configuration." One hopes that Volume II will prove to have been but the pedestrian preparation for a...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 184-185
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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