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410Philosophy and Literature That separation, which could also be defined as "the incompatibility between man's being, the nature of things and language" (p. 1), constitutes, Wing contends , our modernity. The question his book addresses is, when did it all begin? Was it in 1886 when Mallarmé announced "the elocutionary disappearance of the poet, who yields the initiative to words"? Or can its origins be traced, as Wing argues, back to Flaubert, Baudelaire, and Rimbaud? In his opening chapter, allegory in Les Fleurs du mal "undermines the status of the textual first person as a stable subject" (p. 14) and "produces a radical loosening of the relationship between the signifier and signified" (p. 15) when it goes beyond its initially assigned limits into a vertiginous displacement of meaning. Flaubert's declaration that "Madame Bovary, c'est moi!" comes to mind as Wing focuses on "Emma's stories": her daydreams, letters, and lastditch attempts to talk her way out of debt. For there are "distressing similarities" between Emma's narratives and Flaubert's. If the former attempt to create an ordered subject, as well as to give meaning to such mysterious words asfélicité, then the story told by the novel's omniscient narrator "is also caught up with the complex of desires which motivate stories" (p. 76). In Une Saison en enfer, Wing finds Rimbaud "engaged less in a process of self-realization . . . than in writing the self in and as language" (p. 80), deprived of any other ground of being. Mallarmé's "L'Après-midi d'un faune" proves to be an allegory of its own production of meaning that never achieves totality, a constant "deferring of intentionality and interpretation" (p. 99). In the concluding chapter he cleverly maps Marx's 18th Brumaire onto Baudelaire's and Flaubert's obscenity trials, finding that what is really at issue is the lack of a "stable basis for interpretation " (p. 122)—announcing, avant la lettre, the death of the subject that Mallarmé was to pronounce in "Crise de vers." The Limits ofNarrative is an extremely closely focused and closely reasoned, not to say laconic, book, and presupposes a philosophical and critical vocabulary not all readers may share; but it proves its point. One could only wish that its tide were a litde less self-referential, that its author had yielded a bit more to the desire to tell a story. Miami University, OhioRandolph Runyon Nietzsche in Russia, edited by Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal; xvi & 424 pp. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986. $50.00 cloth, $19.95 paper. Given that Nietzsche's philosophy was calculated to appeal to rebels, artistic, intellectual, or political, it is not of course surprising that he should have had a special attraction for Russians at a time when their country was in the throes Reviews411 of one of the most violent political, social, and cultural upheavals in all history. His impact on Russian thought and literature in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries is said to have been immense; most literary historians and scholars generally take this for granted. However, few of them have tried to investigate it in the kind of depth and detail attempted here. In Part I of the book the contributors cover aspects of Nietzsche's influence on religious thought in Russia, dealing in particular with Merezhkovsky, Rozanov, and Fedorov. Part II focuses on literature, painting and music: the poets Bal'mont and Blok, Andrey BeIy as critic, the prose-writer Sologub, the composer Skriabin, and Vrubel the artist. Part III concentrates on Marxists: Gorky, Lunacharsky, Bogdanov. Part IV has a comparatively brief (too brief, in fact) contribution by Edith Clowes on the "vulgarization" of Nietzscheanism in stories by Andreyev and Artsybashev, while James Curtis brings up the rear with an interesting attempt to establish a firm connection between Mikhail Bakhtin's criticism and Nietzsche, notably via Tadeusz Zielinski, who was one of Bakhtin's classics teachers at St. Petersburg University. As a bonus there follows an extremely valuable chronological checklist by Richard Davies, comprising over three hundred items by and about Nietzsche published in Russia between 1892-1919. The book closes with an afterword by Susan Ray which briefly comments on Nietzsche...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 410-412
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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