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374Philosophy and Literature following Darnton, the late post-Voltairian popular journalism of the 1780s. He vividly portrays this diverse collective endeavor of well-known giants, litde known liberal censors, clandestine book dealers, and anonymous writers of Encyclopedia articles. While they cannot be charged with having brought about the French Revolution, they succeeded in eroding ideological loyalty to the ancien regime, secularized Europe, helped liberate humanity from its past, and bequeathed to us, their children, the techniques of social analysis, humanistic values, and scientific expertise—the very tools we employ in our effort to solve the new problems that arose because of them. One might quibble along die way with Porter—he plays with words when he claims that the philosophes created "a new religion of their own" and Gay has convincingly shown that the Enlightenment did not project "an idea ofindefinite future progress"—but it is in fact remarkable that he managed to say so much in so litde space. This self-contained Enlightenment brochure would be a helpful handbook in a course on eighteenth-century British and French philosophical fiction. Whitman CollegePatrick Henry Poetry, Narrative, History, by Frank Kermode; viii & 124 pp. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Basil Blackwell, 1990, $16.95. This is another in the series of Bucknell Lectures in Literary Theory and, as with the Toril Moi volume in the same series, the tide is a poor indicator of the book's contents. Of its 124 pages, only 39 are written by Frank Kermode. These contain his two lectures, "New Ways with Bible Stories" and "Poetry and History." There are, in addition, two introductions: one by Michael Payne (15 pp.), the other by Harold Schweizer (13 pp.), a Kermode bibliography 19471988 ) compiled by Keith Walker (24 pp.), an interview with Kermode (30 pp.), and a three-page index. Michael Payne traces Kermode's scholarly writings from his theory of the pastoral in EngUsh Pastoral Poetry (1952) and his Arden edition of TL· Tempest (1954) to his current literary critical concerns. He underscores Romantic Image (1957) for its study of the history and survival of the Romantic conception of the artist and its double prophecy: of the death of "the Symbolist historical doctrine of sensibility" (p. 5) and the recovery of Paradise Lost, more fully developed in The Living Milton (1960). TL· Classic (1975) and TL· Genesis of Reviews375 Secrecy (1979) are also highlighted, the former for the importance it attributes to hermeneutics and accommodation thus pluralizing and secularizing "the classic" which remains "available to us under our dispositions" (p. 9), the latter for its application of the methods of secular criticism to sacred texts. By moving chronologically, Payne convincingly depicts the organic coherence ofKermode's thought which remains to the present, History and Value (1988), dynamically cumulative. "New Ways with Bible Stories" explains how it has become possible, if not necessary, to read Biblical stories not in order to study their historical reference but as examples of the art offiction. In both theJewish and Christian traditions, narratology and the poetics of prose have come to replace the eighteenthcentury interest in the factuality of Biblical narratives. Although procedures vary, the text is normally accepted as we have it and, without references to intentionality or ur-texts, the stories are read as stories. The effects ofnarrative patterns, repetitions, dialogues, and significant silences are examined with a new "post-critical" fidelity to the literal text that defends the religious value of the stories themselves. Kermode analyzes several stories from the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament in this fashion, depicting how, in the mystery of narrative , we have both elucidation and secrecy. This technique does not ignore the gaps in the text, filled earlier by midrash and allegory in the Jewish and Christian traditions respectively, but rather produces a new secular midrash by seeking the mystery of the text in the internal dynamics of story-telling. In "Poetry and History," Kermode notes the growing number of critical groups—feminist, neo-Marxist, neo-historicist—that propose a dialogue between literature and history, and then examines three poems, all written about specific historical moments—Horace's "Actium Ode," Marvell's "Horatian Ode on Cromwell's Return from Ireland," and Auden's "Spain 1937"—to suggest...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 374-376
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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