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Reviews367 violable autonomy nor die negative guarantee of its nonexistence" (p. 16). MelviUe's "radical self-criticism" is not so radical after aU; it is the famUiar principle , derived from Kant, uiat criticism must be constituted as a self-reflexive system wherein the self that criticizes is also the object of criticism. BuUding upon the concepts of acknowledgment, criticism, and history established in die first chapter, Melville proceeds to examine die relation ofDerrida 's diought to diat ofHegel, Heidegger, BataUle, and Lacan. He is at his best in considering the complex relationship between psychoanalysis and deconstruction . His comments on Maria Torek's and Nicolas Abraham's notion oianasémie are particularly valuable, but his readings of Hegel and Heidegger are largely derivative of Derrida's and lack die rigor one rightfuUy expects from someone who claims Derrida for his inspiration. His discussion of Hegel's prefaces not only echoes Derrida's "Hors livre," but his comments are so general they could be applied to any preface. When he claims tiiat Heidegger is the "last 'epistemologica! realist,'" one wonders if he is acquainted with phenomenology. His chapter on Paul de Man wUl do litde to dispel these doubts. He reads so carelessly that he attributes to de Man the very theory of aUegory he refuted in "The Rhetoric of Temporality." Radier dian insist "on die radical wididrawal of language from die world," as MelviUe claims, de Man argued diat aUegory recognizes die inescapable temporality of language. MelviUe's misreading of de Man reflects his desire to privUege modernism in a linear concept of tradition: "The work of criticism is . . . one that takes place cruciaUy in time, in complexes ofrupture and continuity widi its traditions" (p. 154). De Man's notion of reading undermines diis desire for periodization, for reading uncovers the mechanics of confusing linguistic reality widi aesuietic categories, such as acknowledgment. In reformulating deconstruction as a modernist discipline of "radical self-criticism," MelviUe resurrects die self-reflexive model that both Derrida and de Man (particularly in Allegories of Reading and his later works) rejected. Louisiana State UniversityJoseph G. Kronick Michail Bakhtin: The Dialogic Principle, by Tzvetan Todorov; translated by Wlad Godzich; xiii & 132 pp. Minneapolis : University of Minneapolis Press, 1984, $29.50 cloth, $10.95 paper. Like Michael Holquist's recent Mikhail Bakhtin, Todorov's The Dialogic Principle can serve as a general introduction to Bakhtin's thought. In spirit, however, Todorov's treatment is closer to Julia Kristeva's in her Semiotikè: Recherches pour 368Philosophy and Literature une sémanalyse than to Holquist's, especiaUy when, as is so often the case, the latter seems to be engaged in an attempt to reveal an undialogical essence of Bakhtin's diought uiat is supposed to lie hidden beneaui ideological masks. But Todorov differs from both Kristeva and Holquist in that his goal is not primarily to paraphrase or to "explain" Bakhtin. He seeks rather to make Bakhtin "readable," to let Bakhtin's voice(s) be heard by "constructing a kind ofmontage, half-way between andiology and commentary" (p. xiii). To construct tiiis montage Todorov has sifted through Bakhtin's work — including several shorter pieces that have not yet appeared in translation — and organized and regrouped fragments from various texts according to such basic concerns as the epistemology of die human sciences, Bakhtin's dieory of die utterance, intertextuality , the history of literature, and literature in history. Although Todorov claims to have "refrained in principle from entering into a dialogue with Bakhtin" (p. xiii), the resulting text is nonetheless a dialogue. Todorov constandy prods and questions Bakhtin's texts. Like Paul de Man (in his essay on Bakhtin in The Resistance to Theory), Todorov wonders about the role oftropes in Bakhtin's system, since Bakhtin often seems to consider them proper to poetry and dierefore, at least ideaUy, allied with monologic forces. He probes die difficult problem of die status of die "object" in an intertextual system, and asks how the novel can have a history if its defining characteristics, intertextuality and heterology, are nontemporal categories. Todorov occasionaUy brings other voices — uiose of Auerbach and Schlegel, for instance — into die dialogue, but he does not aUow any "master discourse" to dominate Bakhtin...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 367-368
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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