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170Philosophy and Literature both Hegel and Spirit come into self-conscious being through a process of overcoming otherness in past forms. Through this process Hegel's philosopher is to come into possession of a purely conceptual prose medium in which the richness of the Absolute Idea is exhaustively displayed. The organic metaphors used to describe the dialectic actually cover up its rhetorical origin. Hegel uses rhetorical devices while playing down their use. Not only do individual metaphors and tropes inhabit the Phenomenology, but its very structure is tropical. The cognitive configurations of Spirit are also onesided allegiances to favored tropes: metaphor, metonymy, synecdochy, and irony. Dialectic is the movement generated by die breakdown of each trope in turn as it discovers itself unable to bear the burden of Absolute Knowledge. If we follow the traces left by classical rhetoric, many sections of the PL·nomenology acquire a new life, and the movement of Hegel's dialectic takes on the rhythm of changing tropes. Spirit takes up a successively metaphorical, metonymical and synecdochical relation to reality. Metaphor stands for the stage of naive identification; metonymy for contiguous relations and alterity; and synecdochy for what reminds us of the whole. Finally, irony turns the tables on any position which accounts itself stable before the permutations and combinations of Spirit have been fully worked out. This book pioneers a rhetorical analysis ofHegel's early texts. Though limited by its subject matter, many of the issues raised have relevance to philosophy ofmind and education far beyond a merely academic study of Hegel's writings. I recommend it for the light it sheds both on Hegel's early works, and on the function of rhetoric in philosophical discourse and education. Middlesex Polytechnic, LondonJeff Mason FriedrichHölderlin:EssaysandLetters on Theory, translated and edited by Thomas Pfau; 193 pp. Albany: State UniversityofNewYork Press, 1988, $39.50 cloth, $12.95 paper. Hölderlin's overwhelming stature as a poet has always overshadowed his reputation as a theorist. But in the English-speaking world, as Pfau points out, scholarship on Hölderlin's theoretical essays "is virtually non-existent" (p. 1) simply because few of these essays were previously available in English. A translation of Hölderlin's small but considerable theoretical oeuvre is long overdue , and Pfau's work marks a tremendous step forward in establishing Hölderlin as a thinker in his own right. Reviews171 The essays contained in this volume fall into three categories. While theJena fragments (1794—95) reflect Hölderlin's attempts to come to terms with the emerging German Idealism, his writings of the Homburg period (1799—1800) concentrate on poetological issues. A third group consists of reflections on the tragic, composed in conjunction with Hölderlin's own tragedy Empedocles and his Sophocles translations. None ofthese texts was published during Hölderlin's lifetime, few were even intended for publication. Their fragmentary, highly esoteric quality makes considerable intellectual demands on the reader. Written in a dense, at times almost impenetrable style, they reveal a mind at pains to account in theory for a poetic practice, the whole point of which was to disclose a primordial unity of being inaccessible to theory. The challenge of translating these texts is enormous, and so are the risks. To minimize those risks, Pfau adheres to the original as closely as possible. The trouble is that Hölderlin's penchant for subordinations of excessive length does not translate well into English. German nouns and pronouns are marked by case and gender, thus allowing the reader to trace references of pronouns with relative ease. Without such specifications, a sentence running on for more than two pages can quickly turn into a nightmare. Instead of clarifying ambiguous pronouns in footnotes, it would have been much simpler to supply the corresponding nouns in square brackets throughout the text. Terminology presents another difficulty. While there are explanatory notes for some terms, for others the reader is supposed to consult the glossary at the end of the book. But a glossary that includes only some of the terms annotated in the text is of limited value. Moreover, its one-to-one translations create a false sense of straightforwardness (to refer the reader...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 170-172
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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