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Reviews153 who bonds with Flaubert to offer a story of obscure energies and vistas. Yet until the recent appearance of such books as Susan Howe's My Emily Dickinson, biographies with impressionistic brio were mosdy excluded from scholarly consideration . Howe and Sartre have done criticism a service by putting the very scope and function of biography into question for the next generation of scholars. There are surprises in Volume 4—for example, Sartre's analyses of a certain pantheism and oneiric reading habit within Flaubert's aesthetic. Hazel Barnes has pointed out that matter and life intermingle for Flaubert to invoke a surplus of sens beyond signification. Moreover, Sartre says, Flaubert read in order to dream, and dreamed in order to live and write. Reading was not "attentive deciphering" but a "directed oneirism" (p. 259), giving Flaubert visions of perfect (total) art and artists, his own "oneiric cosmogony" (p. 263). Shakespeare "was not a man but a continent; there were great men in him, whole crowds, landscapes" (p. 258). Of the ancient world in Homer and Sophocles, whose archaic impulses somehow fed into his own aesthetic, Flaubert writes "I have lived there!" (p. 269). Finally, Sartre says, Flaubert read widely "to earn by his feelings of disgust the right to write." Be that as it may, Flaubert could not hide his genuine ardor for the works of Montaigne, Homer, and Rabelais. "They are bottomless, infinite, manifold. Through small apertures we glimpse abysses whose dark depths make us faint. And yet something singularly gende hovers over it all" (p. 259). Sartre, who cites these words of Flaubert, would have liked readers to say as much about his volumes of biography. Hiroshima UniversityC. S. Schreiner Sartre and Psychoanalysis: An Existentialist Challenge to Clinical Metatheory, by Betty Cannon; 397 pp. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1991, $35.00. This elegant book, a testimony to the high quality which can be achieved by the smaller university presses, was written by Betty Cannon under the mentorship of Hazel Barnes. Cannon, a practicing psychotherapist and professor of humanities and social sciences, pits existential theory against the Lacanian school and modes ofpsychology which mistake "the opacity ofsignifiers without reference" for clinical insight and progress, antihumanism for discovery and the avant-garde. Sartre's literary and philosophic writings are taken up and evaluated in the context of clinical practice. The end result is a cogendy argued 154Philosophy and Literature piece of psychological writing that offers a refreshingly confident approach to methodological reflection. Cannon sets out to explain and gauge the advanced theoretical developments in her field insofar as they contribute to the goals of the clinical relationship and the future of the client. Chapters are devoted to Freud and Lacan, but also to post-Freudian drive theorists such as Klein, Mahler, and Kernberg, and relational theorists such as Sullivan, Winnicott, and Kohut. It seems that many theories, including those guided by poststructuralist assumptions, have done much for scholarly careers andjournals but little for clients in the therapeutic situation. For this reason Sartre's existential writings, which influenced the likes of Rollo May and R. D. Laing in the early sixties, have not become obsolete. Sartre's analyses ofradical freedom and his attempts to awaken discursive praxis strike Cannon as altogether refreshing over against the linguistic imbroglios of Lacan and the biological fatality of a certain Freudianism. Cannon uses TL· Family Idiot to show the problems that issue from a situation in which language predetermines the situation and works to confound intention, as when Flaubert himself becomes "a mere plaything of signifiers." Although the problems of the in-itself and dyadic relations described in Bring and Nothingness seem of limited import, Sartre's theory of linguistic experience in dialectical relation to the practico-inert is found relevant for the concrete therapeutic situation and for social psychology. Thus Sartre's Flaubert biography teaches us "that words, far from being magical invocation, have reference and relevance to the 'real' world of which the linguistic order itself, as a practico-inert field, is a part" (p. 301). On the practical and imaginary levels, Cannon says, "an individual is both constituted and constituting" (p. 306). In contact with the real, the aim of...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 153-155
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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