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Shorter Reviews247 sympathetic attention. First, there is the claim that the user of a viable metaphor must draw on a strong, definite cultural tradition. Second, there is the related claim that the serious use of a viable metaphor involves the speaker in a metaphysical commitment associated with the relevant tradition. (Wicker's account of Robbe-Grillet's agreement on this and consequent battle against metaphors is well worth reading. Less happy is Wicker's tendency to think of this kind of attention to a metaphysic as naturally leading everyone to interest in Wicker's own brand of theism.) Third, there is a helpfully suggestive account of why the use of metaphor can become a great force for foolish and dangerous thinking. If a reader is prepared to overlook the kinds of irritating and confusing matters which I have mentioned, he need not put down The Story-Shaped World without having enjoyed some profitable comments on philosophy and literature. But .... University of AlbertaJohn King-Farlow The Psychological Study of Literature: Limitations, Possibilities , and Accomplishments, by Martin S. Lindauer; pp. xiii & 254. Chicago: Nelson Hall, 1974, $11.00. This book is, unfortunately, neither well conceived nor well written. By its failings, though, it does offer a useful example to readers of this journal, since it is a book which its author hopes will mediate among several disciplines. Mediation between two disciplines such as psychology and literature or philosophy and literature, however, requires a mastery of the discourse peculiar to each. Such mastery is not reflected simply by a choice of texts or the use of a specialized vocabulary. It is grounded in an informed discussion that proceeds from an understanding of the critical issues, follows the requirements of proof, and depends on a certain competence in the rules of discourse in each discipline. To literary scholars and aestheticians, Lindauer offers the methodologies of scientific psychology, by which he means the gathering, measuring, and categorizing of empirically derived data of a psychological nature. To psychologists he repeatedly offers literature as a "stimulus object subject to an empirical attack." Of course the kind of data gathered, its interpretation, and the end to which the investigation is directed are crucial questions. Lindauer dismisses a psychoanalytic model and offers nothing in its place by which to construe results or design experiments, other than a series of questions which he admits have already been tediously pursued. Such questions either concern reading tastes, the appearance of themes, or the nature of certain generic appeals; they might also deal with the process of creativity and the personality of the author. By denying the usefulness of the psychoanalytic model, however, because it cannot generate statistical data, he denies the one area of psychology which 248Philosophy and Literature offers the most promise in pursuing the very questions which interest him. The most revealing and embarrassing portions of the book are those sections in which Lindauer discusses his conception of literature and psychology. "Literature and psychology have much in common," he says, "both show a perplexity about man . . ." (p. 47). Such a statement promises a hopelessly unsophisticated address to literary scholars. Lindauer's naïveté is reflected throughout the book by references to authors and critics in which he makes no qualitative distinctions between a Conrad Aiken and a William Faulkner, or a Norman Cousins and an M. H. Abrams. There is no indication in the entire book that Lindauer is at all aware of the status of a variety of aesthetic concerns or the nature of numerous ongoing critical debates about what constitutes a text or even what constitutes the act of reading. He creates arguments, in fact, where none exist, as in his defense of an empirical study of texts. He does not realize that for those who assume the text is stable and external to the reader, empirical studies have been going on for quite a while in formalist criticism, stylistics, bibliography, linguistic criticism, and certain kinds of reader response criticism. I cannot speak about the quality of his appeal to psychologists, but I suspect not many will be impressed by his argument that literature provides illustrations for psychologists: "Even Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh with its logic, language, and...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 247-248
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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