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Shorter Reviews245 essays are the longest and most impressive in the volume. Johnson's exegesis of Billy Budd must be considered a showpiece of deconstructionist criticism. It is thorough, illuminating exegesis that does not require one to learn any new, tricky terms or slogans. If the Billy Budd essay is a tour de force in rhetoricaldeconstructivist exegesis, the final piece, "The Frame of Reference: Poe, Lacan, Derrida," is a dazzling analysis of the act of reading. To the layers of interpretation within the story itself are added Lacan's reading of the story as "allegory of the signifier," and Derrida's effort to frame Lacan for making the signifier into a signified, falling into logocentrism, or worse "phallogocentrism" (p. 124). Like her mentor de Man, who in Blindness and Insight reproached Derrida for misreading Rousseau, Johnson cleverly catches Derrida willfully misreading Lacan when he accuses Lacan of falling into a certain "classical conception of psychoanalysis." Johnson concludes that "the author of any critique is himself framed by his own frame of the other, no matter how guilty or innocent the other may be" (p. 137). With the focus of the final essay clearly on the act and scene of interpretation, Johnson's book reveals itself as a treatise in deconstructionist hermeneutics. (Although Foucault and Derrida would like to regard hermeneutics as inherently passé and logocentric for purposes precisely analogous to Derrida's in so framing Lacan, there can be a deconstructionist hermeneutics.) It would appear that Johnson, along with her Yale colleague Fredric Jameson, has expanded Yale's "hermeneutical quartet" of literary critics—Bloom, Hartman, Miller, and de Man—to a sextet. It would seem that hermeneutical criticism is alive and well at Yale. The Critical Difference, with its clear, rigorous, and persuasive exegesis , makes a valuable contribution both toward clarifying deconstructionist literary theory and toward demonstrating its fruitfulness in concrete explication of texts. MacMurray CollegeRichard E. Palmer The Poetics of Roman Ingarden, by Eugene H. Falk; xxi & 213 pp. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1981, $20.00. In the annals of intellectual thought, few theorists of literature have been accorded a prolonged historic memory. Their importance seldom transcends their time. However, Roman Ingarden, a leading Polish philosopher and one of the principal exponents of phenomenological aesthetics, continues to draw our attention to his theoretical postulates even after his death in 1970. In this country, during the last ten years two of his seminal works, The Literary Work of Art and The Cognition of the Literary Work of Art, were translated into English. In Poland and in Western Europe several symposia have explored his theories, doctoral dissertations have been written about them, and in 1976 the prestigious Analecta Husserliana devoted an entire issue to "Ingardiana." Eugene H. Falk's study is the first full-length metacritical study of Ingarden's 246Philosophy and Literature poetics in English. It follows the pattern of The Literary Work ofArt, providing a description and an analysis of the four fundamental strata of the literary work: sound-formation, meaning units, presented objects, and schematized aspects . In addition, Falk discusses the aesthetic concretization and cognition, aesthetic experience and aesthetic values, of the literary work, and offers a brief summary of Ingarden's view of literary scholarship. It thus also encompasses the range of issues contained in Ingarden's The Cognition of the Literary Work of Art. All this is carried out in the context of Ingarden's ontology as well as epistemology of intentional objects. Moreover, in discussing these issues Falk is ever-mindful of Husserl's philosophy with which Ingarden's poetics or, better to say, literary aesthetics, is closely related. While Falk does justice to Ingarden's position, he remains at the same time somewhat timid about asking questions concerning its epistemological limitations . For example, to what extent are artistic data and aesthetic addenda, as Ingarden has defined them, i.e., the schematically presented strata of the literary work, and their aesthetic amplifications, transformations, concretizations, and the like, accessible to our cognition? Can these be reconstructed in their essential givenness and thus apprehended by our consciousness? Or, on the other hand, speaking about cognition, what type of reading guarantees the optimal accessibility to artistic...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 245-246
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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