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130Philosophy and Literature After establishing, in Part One, the necessary theoretical base from which to carry out specific textual analyses, Brady opens Part Two with a newly composed introduction wherein he firms up the challenge: "In Part Two, we shall tackle [Laufer] on his own ground, re-examining the novels he cites in the light of the most recent research on the concept of rococo style ..." (p. 143). Wanting to label as rococo "the four great 'Enlighteners' " (p. 143), Laufer chose to examine Montesquieu's Lettrespersanes, Voltaire's LIngénu (Brady substitutes the more universally popular Candide), Diderot's LeNeveudeRameau, and Rousseau's La Nouvelle Héloïse. Calling upon a flexible exegetical framework allowing for a plurality ofstrains (each capable ofanswering for particular structural, stylistic, or thematic tendencies), Brady is able, at the end of his own four analyses, to point to the Baroque, Classical, post-Classical, pseudo-Classical, rococo, neoclassical , pre-Romantic, Romantic, or naturalist elements present in each work; in doing so, however, he fails to find the rococo dominating even once. Then, instead of reexamining Laufer's fifth textual choice, Laclos's late-century L·s Liaisons dangereuses (1782), Brady fortunately chooses to focus upon an earlier novel wherein he does find the rococo the dominating influence—Marivaux's La Vie de Marianne (1 731—41). The resulting essay, constituting the final chapter of die book, represents some of the best scholarship of the volume. It offers exemplification of what the rococo is in eighteenth-century French narrative after useful examples of what it is not, and it brings newer critical dimensions to the rococo discussion, occasioned by Brady's own adoption of structuralist reading strategies at the outset of the 1970s. A brief "General Conclusion" offers appropriate closure to the study as well as the felicitous final line of the volume with which this review began. University of the SouthGeorge Poe Iconology: Image, Text, Ideology, by W. J. T. Mitchell; ? & 226 pp. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986, $9.95 paper. What impresses about this book is its sheer breadth of reading, its critical reach. A study aimed at describing and accounting for the problematic relationships that exist between text and image, Iconology demonstrates possibilities for criticism in a postdeconstructive age. But while accepting the formative and arbitrary nature of sign systems, Mitchell is not interested in returning again and again to the infinitely regressive properties of language. Instead, his rei- Reviews131 ativism is the kind that ultimately insists on preserving a dialogue between contraries. Mitchell grounds his discussion of die nature of imagery in two assumptions. First, it is presupposed that neither verbal nor pictorial images have an essential identity—a premise thatacknowledges the instability ofpresence and ofmimesis. Image and text arise in a historical context instituted by discursive practices: "the senses, the aesthetic modes, and the act of representation itself continue to fall back into the history from which we would like to redeem them" (p. 149). Second, when we come to examine the precise nature of the difference between the pictorial and visual arts, Mitchell discovers the presence of the same in the other. Thus where painting is inextricably tied to verbal inscriptions, and where language depends equally on the energies of the image, it may no longer be possible to preserve fixed boundaries between the disciplines. A further section examines the representation of these two volatile modalities in the work of four theorists: Nelson Goodman, Ernst Gombrich, G. E. Lessing, and Edmund Burke. Mitchell applauds Goodman's formalist reading, but sees it as finally inadequate, since no consideration is given to history. Gombrich, by comparison, who celebrates the image as "natural," is fair game for deconstruction . Mitchell associates his "idolatrous" longing for immediately present images with the rise of capitalism and modern science, since under capitalism the image prompts the "fantasy of instantaneous, unmediated appropriation" (p. 90). An incisive critique of Burke's Reflections on the Revolution views it as both formative of the response to the revolution, and an episode in its history. Since Burke is shown to be an iconoclast at heart, it comes as no surprise to discover that his fear of the irrational erupting into history leads him...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 130-132
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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