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190Philosophy and Literature Again, Gellrich repeatedly dismisses the importance of Aristotle's concept of hamartia, which she righdy paraphrases as "an unwitting error." Aristode would probably have thought hamartia a better explanation of tragic conflict than Hegelian Kollision. From the unwitting error, he would have said, all conflict naturally proceeds. This is the gist of chapter 14, on the source of the tragic effect. This is not to say that Gellrich's discussions of the other tragic theorists are not useful contributions, once one allows for the distorted picture of Aristode, the admitted archegete in this field of inquiry. The readings of a wide range of tragic texts often stimulate, while also ably showing how tragedy resists the generalizing claims of theory and thus, indirectly perhaps, much literary criticism . University of Canterbury, New ZealandGraham Zanker Philosophy andNon-Philosophy SinceMerleau-Ponty, edited by HughJ. Silverman; vii & 372 pp. New York: Roudedge, 1988, $49.50 cloth, $15.95 paper. After a brief introduction by the editor, this collection of essays on or by recent or contemporary continental philosophers opens with Merleau-Ponty's "Philosophy and Non-Philosophy Since Hegel," a text established from notes from his unfinished course of lectures at the Collège de France in 1961. To read this work one needs at least a full day with neither commitments nor risks of interruption; a large table to accommodate various volumes of Hegel, Heidegger , Marx, and Nietzsche; several large note pads and a variety of different colored pens; energy; aspirin. This is not to say that such an effort would not be worthwhile. It is problematic, however, whether it could be reasonably expected from many among those I imagine to be this book's anticipated readers. Merleau-Ponty sets out on a quest for a Hegel liberated from his metaphysical system and is soon into the thick of the Introduction to the Phenomenology ofSpirit via Heidegger's interpretation and critique. And from here on it gets harder. My suspicion is that after a brief tussle with Merleau-Ponty most readers will go to one or other of the following essays, and there they are likely to be rewarded. Not that any of these are bedtime reading. For example, in "Deleuze on a Deserted Island," Alphonso Lingis reads Giles Deleuze reading Michel Tournier's retelling of the story of Robinson Crusoe. With only the original Robinson behind me I was unable to separate Lingis from Deleuze from Tournier . And yet Lingis conveys the feel of Deleuze's "anti-Oedipal" philosophy in Reviews191 a lively way, and after it I found myself impatient to read Deleuze (and Tournier). While declaring itself the first in a proposed series—"Continental Philosophy "—this volume contains only two essays (on Heidegger and Habermas) which cross the borders separating France from other parts of continental Europe. One wonders why it was not explicidy devoted to French philosophy. Indeed, the otherwise excellent essay on Habermas by John McCumber seems to break the loose but discernible network of distinctively French concerns that emerges through the chapters on Deleuze, Lyotard, Derrida, and Lévinas to Barthes. Barthes? On my way through the book I had harbored a grudge against Barthes for being included in place ofany ofa whole list ofthinkers I thought more worthy. However, on reading Jacques Derrida's "The Deaths of Roland Barthes," I came to regard its inclusion as something ofan editorial masterstroke. Far from being a simple exposition on Barthes, Derrida's essay is a complex and selfreflexive piece which, qua "performative," manages to flesh-out many of the recurring themes more abstracdy approached in the earlier essays. While one could comment on the nominalist tendency shared by most of the philosophers represented here, this would be misleading: what is at issue is no abstract ontological "thesis" but something closer to an ethics based around the acknowledgment of alterity. It is the very occasionality of Derrida's piece—a public address on and for a friend recently dead—that brings this home. In such a discourse the capacity to breech the faith and civilities ofthe former friendship by using the other's name in some self-serving way is all too clear. But we are here reminded...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 190-191
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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