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412Philosophy and Literature According to Sartre, the most important literary fact of the second half of the nineteenth century was the divorce of the writer from the public. Art came to mean "social death" (p. 151), the end ofsocial praxis. In this regard Maurice Blanchot's essay "The Power and the Glory" (1959), which claims that the public life of the writer can only be a disaster, a kind of hell on earth, was the apotheosis of the same sentiment—on a different scale—that Sartre has tracked from the depths of Flaubert's being. One can imagine the lack of consolation Sartre gained here. Flaubert was a final fit of ontological insomnia for Sartre, a catastrophic love-hate affair between art and politics, last provocation to a giant conscience. Hiroshima UniversityC. S. Schreiner Allusion. A Literary Graft, by Allan H. Pasco; xii & 235 pp. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1994, $55.00. In his earlier text, Balzacian Montage (University of Toronto Press, 1991), Allan Pasco had a number of times touched upon the role of allusion in the configuration of Balzac's Comédie humaine. In the present work, he amplifies and intensifies this inquiry beyond Balzac by discussing Flaubert's "Un Coeur simple," Anouilh's Antigone, Barbey d'Aurevilly's "Le Rideau cramoisi," Proust, Giraudoux's Electre, Gide's La Symphonie pastorale, Balzac's Eugénie Grandet, Zola's La Faute de l'abbé Mouret, Sartre's La Nausée, and Robbe-Grillet's Les Gommes. In the introduction, Pasco clarifies his objectives as well as the terminology he uses. One might consider Allusion. A Literary Graft (the word "graft" is meant to be understood primarily in its botanical sense) a critique of the excesses of "intertextual" readings that have been rampantly fashionable in the last twentyfive years or so, ever since Julia Kristeva coined the term. (It should be mentioned here that Pasco has done his research on intertextuality scrupulously : Barthes, Genette,Jenny, Riffaterre.) He favors a more restrained use of the concept ofintertexts, listing three primary categories: imitation, opposition (irony, satire), and allusion. In this vein, he remarks: "For me, and in the pages that follow, allusion is tL· metaphorical relationship created when an alluding text evokes and uses another, independent text. Neither the reference nor the referent, it consists in the image produced by the metaphoric combination that occurs in the reader's mind" (p. 12). The importance of the metaphor is consequently stressed in the texts that Professor Pasco has chosen to examine. The choice of texts is not random, as might appear at first glance: the study works up gradually to a climax in Zola—the chapter on La Faute de l'abbé Mouret is the longest—and then works away from it into the perplexing allusiveness (if that is still the correct term) of Les Gommes. Reviews413 The insights along the way are rich and rewarding. The author has a proclivity for works that are open to Biblical allusions; in some cases, notably Eugénie Grandet and particularly in Les Gommes, such readings strike this reader as unconvincing, whereas they are very much in place in "Un Coeur simple," La Symphonie pastorale, and La Faute de l'abbé Mouret where the author masterfully demonstrates a convergence of religion, nature, and man. Nevertheless, this excellent study leaves a number of questions in the reader's mind. Why, for instance, is "Un Coeur simple" not treated as the "contemporary" chapter of a miniature Golden Legend that Flaubert clearly had in mind in writing the Trois Contest That would have disposed of the silly wranglings concerning the parrot (whether it is satiric or not) which Professor Pasco had to traverse laboriously at the beginning of his chapter. The next chapter, on Antigone (Sophocles/Anouilh), needed to have a firmer grounding in a discussion of parody, which the introduction mentions in only one paragraph (along with allegory). Granted the book is about "allusion," nevertheless the more complex tangents of allusion, imitation, and irony demanded fuller discussion. It is hard to take Anouilh's fabrication entirely seriously as having any real connection with Sophocles; in other words, we would be more likely to respond to it on its...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 412-413
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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