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140Philosophy and Literature the mind to a cruise control on a car (pp. 27-28) , suggesting that the mind is thereby an information processing machine. This construal is then treated as if it were a fact of the same order as facts about brain physiology. This issue may have no place in a discussion of literary interpretation, but to claim the authority of cognitive science is implicitly to raise it. Further, in his discussion of codes, canons, and feedback loops, Holland talks around issues related to Wittgenstein's private language argument without quite realizing tiieir implications . This failure, it seems to me, is unfortunate, since Holland's personalized accounts ofreading early in the book cry out for contextualization. His chapter on Stanley Fish, with whom he agrees about shared "cultural and professional ways of reading" (p. 190) and from whom he borrows the term "interpretive community," provides the opportunity to raise these issues, since Fish's account of the context-dependency of interpretation is largely Wittgensteinian, but Holland doesn't raise them. Despite these weaknesses, however, The Critical 1'is worth reading as a spirited critique of the more obvious excesses of contemporary literary and cultural theory. Trinity University, San Antonio, TXWillis Salomon The Braided Dream: Robert Perm Warren's Late Poetry, by Randolph Paul Runyon; viii & 252 pp. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1990, $28.00. First read the text, exhorts Randolph Paul Runyon in his psychoanalytic criticism of Robert Penn Warren's last four volumes of poetry—Ahitudes and Extensions, 1980-1984, the first section of New and Selected Poems, 1923-1985 (1985); Rumor Verified: Poems 1979-1980 (1981); Being Here: Poetry 1977-1980 (1980); and Now and Then: Poems 1976-1978 (1978)—about 180 poems. With an excruciatingly detailed examination of the "unadvertised" connections among those poems, Runyon successfully demonstrates that "each poem in these collections is best read with an eye to what is going on in the one just before and the one just after it" (p. 6). Runyon's "Introduction" and "Afterword," between which are sandwiched four chapters, one on each of the four volumes, explain his rationale; acknowledge the work of other significant scholars such as Calvin Bedient, Victor Strandberg, James Justus, and John Burt; and anticipate readers' questions about implications of his theory to the poems published prior to 1978 and to the altered order ofdie chosen sequences in New and SelectedPoems. These two sections include specific examples not only from the poetry but also from the fiction, accomplishing in part what Cleanth Brooks and others have Reviews141 claimed all along—that to critique Warren's writing students ought to be familiar with his entire canon. Runyon more fully examines Warren's fiction in his book, The Taciturn Text, he connects his reading of Warren's poems to Brooks and Warren's Understanding Poetry—a prudent strategy. After a brief trial-test on Thomas Hardy's poetry, Runyon asserts that "the discovery of sequential connections in Warren's poetry does, then, open up the possibility of similar phenomena elsewhere" (p. 221). More importantly, Runyon gives readers a close analysis of Warren's late poetry, a reading that will startle, provoke, and mesmerize. The body of Runyon's book, the four chapters, is structured as a series of arguments, each with its claim, refutation, and evidence. The claim is consistent : Warren's late poetry is sequentially connected. The refutation: that connectedness "is not the result of any conscious intent on Warren's part" (p. 20). And the evidence begins with a three-page demonstration of the interconnectedness of the first poem, "Three Darknesses" in Altitudes andExtensions, and continues for 190 pages. Startling is the manner in which these links unfold through discoveries of word-phrase echoes, images, and considerations such as self-knowledge and the nature of time. The links, moreover, are not merely recurrences of the same word or images, but of similar purposes like the antirattler rope in "Arizona Midnight" and "Minnesota Recollection" (p. 34). Runyon's presentation of evidence will provoke many readers in one of two ways. First, few readers will possess the intimate knowledge of the 180 poems to keep up with the volleys among poems. Second, most readers...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 140-141
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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