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416Philosophy and Literature critics of any persuasion is her sensitivity to the literary text and how it shapes the specific appearance of the archetype. Knapp is particularly adept at showing how certain objects and settings create images or visualizations of exile and indeed of the "inner geography" of the human psyche; striking examples include the labyrinthian prison in The House of the Dead, the anthill in Recollections of Things to Come, and the ruined tramway in That Time. Most convincing, perhaps, are those chapters where Knapp uses linguistic analysis to show how a given word or name can resonate simultaneously on all levels—the individual, the cultural, and the mythical—to wrest the archetype from the recesses of the unconscious and objectify it within the text; memorable instances are found in her brilliant essays on Conrad, Agnon, and Beckett. The reader ofPhilosophy and Literature will be particularly rewarded by Knapp's continuous examining of the very bases of her approach, the allusions to western philosophers from Heraclitus to Hegel, the discussion of time in Garro and Beckett, and the exposition of oriental philosophies in Kawabata and Cheng. Few critics can match either the breadth of Knapp's cultural background, which enables her to seize the most slippery of allusions, or her sensitivity to the human dimensions of the archetypes and works she explores. Any reader will be enriched by the experience of reading Exile and the Writer. The conclusion she derives from the ten fictional works may well be applied to her illuminating critical study of them: "By evaluating the meanings of their reactions to the creative work, readers in certain cases also clarify their own chaotic feelings, thoughts, and impulses. When critical faculties are called into play during and following the completion of a novel, short story, or play, a better understanding of the problems and pleasures of others may emerge" (p. 236). University of Wisconsin-MadisonWilliam J. Berg The Graphic Unconscious in Early Modern French Writing, by Tom Conley; xi & 226 pp. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992, $54.95. Conley's dense but readable study analyzes the importance of typographical shapes in French Renaissance literature in the context of psychoanalysis and the history of the printed word. It begins with a theoretical chapter that explains how printed characters can convey sense and confusion at the same time, can either support or betray what they appear to articulate, and can thereby be aligned with modern notions of the unconscious which Renaissance artists do not place in the depths of the psyche but rather on the surface of things. Reviews417 The first two chapters treat Marot and Rabelais. In "A Secret Space: Marot's Rondeaux," the author traces the inner itinerary of the poet, underscoring verbal and plastic representations as well as the dialogical nature of the verse. Much of this has to do with the nature of the rondeau itself and the poet's signature within his writing. Conley also charts "the graphics of [the poet's] psychomachia" (p. 31) and, through the visual dimension ofhis poetry, Marot's mute subversion of the orthodoxy he appears to defend at a time when poets could have paid for their license with death. "The Rabelaisian Hieroglyph" portrays the deep links between the growth of typography and Rabelais's work where we find hermetic dimensions, a Utopian dream of "living writing" and, in revisions made after the heresy trials of 1534, the politics of the hieroglyphic style of Gargantua's preface. With Ronsard we move from the rondeau to the sonnet and from the margins of French political life to its center where this prince of poets appears to underwrite the king at the same time that he transforms the status of poetry. Conley devotes two chapters to Ronsard, depicting his printed sonnets as both discourse and picture and showing how they share the visual innovations of the earlier marginal writings of Marot and Rabelais. Once again, Conley reveals an unconscious rhetoric whose graphic and textual nature allows meaning to emerge in ways that speech cannot control. Verbal expression metamorphoses into pictural movement that often transgresses the laws of the poet's own constitution. Each sonnet becomes an allegory of its own production...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 416-418
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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